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Buckwheat Vareniki (Dumplings) with Strawberries & Farmer's Cheese (VIDEO)

I hope you'll make this recipe soon. If you do, please tag me #innichka_chef on Instagram, Facebook, Patreon or Pinterest.

In my home country Ukraine Vareniky is the second popular dish after Borscht.

There are hundreds of variations of these dumplings in savory and sweet interpretations.

dumplings with strawberry sauce

Today I want to share with you my summer favorite. One of the most Authentic Ukrainian dumplings called Vareniki are made with an ancient grain (buckwheat). This particular recipe has roots from the 1800s, and still can be a very enjoyable dish today.

bowls with filling for dumplings and uncooked dumplings on a cutting board

Buckwheat Vareniki (Dumplings) with Strawberries & Farmer's Cheese are simply delicious. It is soft and easy to work with dough and has a slightly nutty flavor from the buckwheat flour and creamy strawberry filling. They are irresistible.

bowl with dumplings, sauce pot with strawberry sauce and pan with brown sauce & dumplings

I love them all, in my family we eat them often enough that I have to have them in my freezer all the time. Vareniki are my go afterschool snack, and my boys can eat one dozen easily in one sitting.

Here you can find a collection of my dumplings recipes. Also please feel free to change the dough or filling and make your own unique version of vareniki.


A Few Words of History on Vareniki

There is no proof where exactly vareniki were originated, but it seems like every country in Eastern Europe has a deep rooted history with this dish, and their own name for it. In Poland for example - Pierogies.

In Ukraine the name Vareniki comes from the word Varitu, which means to boil.

Generally speaking Vareniki are significant in our culture, next to the national dish borscht, that they have been so much written about, from the way they are made, cooked, served and eaten.

uncooked dumplings

This recipe came from an Ukrainian book were the author claiming Taras Shevchenko (Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, public and political figure, 9 March 1814 – 10 March 1861) was a big lover of these of Varenyki.

If this is true or not we will never know, but one thing we know is that vareniki are great treats for every day or a special occasion.

I promise that you won't even notice how many of them will slip into your mouth in no time.

unfolded dumpling in my hand

Salty smooth and very silky dough, creamy and so fruity filling, sweet buttery sauce, and the last but not least a strawberry compote on top. It makes each bite irresistible.


On Buckwheat Flour for Buckwheat Vareniki (Dumplings)

Prior to the twentieth century, white flour would have been used for the wealthy, because those without much money couldn't afford to sieve out the bran. Although it turns out, of course, that the less refined flour was richer in nutrients and supplied the energy needed for working in the fields. When the Soviets began collectivized farming, bleached white flour became the norm. Buckwheat flour, which was heavily used in earlier Ukrainian recipes, also became less. But not in my kitchen, I use buckwheat, spelt, and millet flour often in my everyday cooking.

buckwheat flour

You can make your own flour by milling buckwheat grains, either using a mill, or I love this one in a coffee grinder.

buckwheat grains

Buckwheat, an ancient grain, is sweeter, nuttier, and is more nutrient dense than regular wheat.


On the filling for Buckwheat Vareniki (Dumplings)

The filling can be sweet or savory. The variations are endless. Anything from grains, vegetables, mushrooms, fruits, seeds, nuts, organ meats, etc.

Here you can find a selection of dumplings for every taste buds.


And today it's all about sweets, a dessert Vareniki with a seasonal fruit (strawberries).

little girl is cutting strawberries

We went with the kids to pick fresh berries from a local farm, our yearly thing to do, and my oldest son requested  to make Vareniki with the strawberries. Yes, my son loves Vareniki, he even cooked them once by himself, and you can teach your kiddos to make them too!

me holding a bowl with a cheese

Beside the strawberries, tart cherries would be an even more traditionally common berry to use here. We use farmer's cheese, which you can buy or make your own. This pretty much is a uniform combination that best describes most Ukrainian cuisine.


This blog, as I'm writing, strongly calls me home. I miss my mom and family and due to the war can't see them.

Please consider praying for and helping my nation that is in big danger.


How to freeze Buckwheat Vareniki (Dumplings) with Strawberries & Farmer's Cheese?

To freeze your vareniki, first freeze them on a floured surface, such as a baking pan. After they are completely frozen, you can transfer them into a freezer bag. They will stay fresh for up to three months.


Let's do it...


Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 5-6 minutes

Total time: 46 minutes

Author: Inna of innichkachef.com 

Yield: About 32-36 dumplings 

ingredients for the vareniki

Ingredients for the dough:

1 &1/2 cups (200 g) of bread flour or all-purpose flour

1 &1/2 cups (200) g of buckwheat flour

1 &1/4 cups (300 ml) of whole milk

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons sunflower oil (any oil of your choice)

1/2 teaspoon pink salt

1 teaspoon raw cane sugar

Ingredients for the filling:

1 &1/2 cups (300 g) of farmer's cheese (If you are buying Farmer's cheese, use a coffee strainer to get rid of some of the whey)

1 &1/2 cups (200 g) of fresh strawberries, chopped

1/2 cup (100 g) of raw cane sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional, I didn't use in the video since my homemade cheese was on the dryer side)

honey and butter

Ingredients for the butter sauce:

8 tablespoons (100 g) of butter

1-2 Tablespoons of buckwheat honey

half lemon, fresh strawberries, sugar, dried strawberries

Ingredients for the strawberry sauce (optional):

1 cup sliced strawberries fresh or frozen

1/2 cup dried strawberries

2 teaspoons lemon juice


Directions

  • To make the dough: In one mixing bowl add all dry ingredients. In another bowl: whisk together milk and eggs.

  • Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix all together with a spatula.

  • Then on a well floured surface place your dough and knead until it forms into a ball.

  • Grease your hand with a little bit of any oil or butter and pat the dough ball. Place dough into a zip lock bag.

  • Place the bag into the fridge for 20 minutes or so.

  • Meanwhile make the filling. In a bowl add chopped strawberries, then the farmer's cheese and sugar. Mix all together. If your store bought farmer's cheese is thin, which is more likely, please consider straining the cheese  ahead of time in a coffee filter. Add a teaspoon of  cornstarch to the strawberry cheese mixture.

  • Divide the dough with a dough cutter into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at the time, and keep the rest covered.

  • Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Use a 3-inch cookie cutter to cut out as many circles as possible. Repeat with the remaining dough.

  • Place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling in each circle. Press the edges together to make a half moon. Make sure the edges are well sealed (vareniki can be frozen at this point for future use).

  • Salt water and bring it to a boil. Drop in the vareniki, about 10 at the time. Simmer until they float to the top. Takes no more than 5 minutes, but if you boil frozen vareniki, it will take a few minutes longer.

  • Meanwhile make a simple butter sauce quickly by melting together butter and honey. Buckwheat honey is a true treat, if you ever find it in the store, buy it! This honey is so good and in this recipe is a perfect fit to highlight the buckwheat flavor.

  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the butter sauce. Keep them warm, and make sure to cover.

  • To make the strawberry sauce, which is totally optional, my mom never did, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook for 5 minutes until it is glossy and a beautiful color appears.

  • To serve vareniki, place a few onto a serving plate, then pour on some butter sauce and follow with the strawberry sauce on top.

  • ENJOY!!! P.S. Serving with additional creme fraiche and fresh strawberries is not a bad idea either. Make the way you like and feel free to adjust to your liking. Please leave some comments about your experimenting with making vareniki. I will deeply appreciate that.


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