Leave it to Big Martha for the best pierogi I’ve ever had. The dough is fluffy but if you’re in a pinch for time or frightened that it’s too labor intensive- use won ton wrappers. Both methods received rave reviews. This time of year I crave comfort food and boy does this deliver. The combination of cream cheese and steamed cabbage is ethereal. Martha traditionally served this as a meatless dish during Lent but these pierogies have evolved into a super popular side dish or appetizer. Use green cabbage to make these dumplings; it contains less water than other varieties.
10 pounds green cabbage, trimmed and cored
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup milk
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make cabbage filling, cut the cabbage into quarters. Steam until very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes; drain and cool. Working in small batches, wrap cooled cabbage in a towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Chop squeezed cabbage finely in a food processor, or grind it in a meat grinder. Transfer it to a large mixing bowl, add softened cream cheese, 8 tablespoons melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste; mix until combined. (The filling can be made one day ahead if it’s kept tightly covered and refrigerated.)
In a medium bowl, whisk egg. Add sour cream, and whisk until smooth. Add milk and 1 cup water, and whisk until combined. Slowly add about 3 cups flour, and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and work in about 1 cup flour as you knead. Use a plastic scraper to lift the dough, which will stick to the counter before flour is worked into it. Continue kneading for about 8 to 10 minutes, working in another 1/2 cup flour. The dough should be elastic in texture and no longer sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour, as this will toughen dough. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a glass or cookie cutter measuring 2 1/2 inch diameter, cut out as many circles as possible. Gather scraps together, reroll, and continue cutting.
Form filling into 1 1/2-inch balls, and place a ball in the center of each dough circle. Holding a circle in your hand, fold dough over filling and pinch the edges, forming a well-sealed crescent. Transfer to linen towel sprinkled with cornmeal. Continue this process until all dough circles are filled.
Place pierogi in the boiling water in batches. They will sink to the bottom of the pot and then rise to the top. Once they rise, let them cook for about 1 more minute. Meanwhile, drizzle platter with remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter. Remove pierogi from pot and transfer to platter to prevent sticking. Serve immediately.
-Recipe via Martha Stewart