Plum Vareniki (Plum Pierogi)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
I’ve been meaning to make vareniki with plums for a long, long, long, long time. I halved my recipe for pelmeni dough. Why? (1) It’s blazing hot outside and I didn’t want to spend half the day making these. (2) I suspect hot days make me lazy. (3) I wanted to go shopping ;).
Admittedly my pierogi are, well, ugly and at times a little frumpy, but they sure taste good. Plum vareniki are quite a treat; sweet inside and out. This was my favorite food growing up and it always brings back sweet memories. My mom always made the best plum vareniki and this recipe is hers.
Ingredients for Plum Vareniki Dough:
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 Tbsp sour cream
1 cup warm water
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose, unbleached flour
Ingredients for Plum Vareniki Filling:
1 lb sweet plums, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
How to Make Plum Vareniki:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/2 Tbsp sour cream, 1 cup warm water, 1 large egg, and 1 tsp salt, just until well blended. Note: you could do all of this by hand, but who would want to?
2. Using the dough hook attachment, add in 2 cups flour and mix on speed 2 until well incorporated.
3. Add in your remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, half a cup at a time, allowing each addition to become well incorporated before adding more. Allow the dough to mix for 15 minutes, then add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until your dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing another 5 minutes. Total mixing time from the time you first add flour is 20-25 min. (You could use this time to learn a new hobby, check your facebook page or be productive and slice your plums ;)). Your dough will be elastic and feel sticky, but won’t stick to your fingers.
4. Cover dough with plastic wrap until ready to use.
5. Cut off about a gum ball of dough at a time and roll into a flat 3-inch circle sprinkling with flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface or the rolling pin.
6. Place two slices of your plum over half of your dough, being careful not to get plum juice on the edges of the dough or it won’t stick together. Pour 1/2 tsp sugar over your plums (use more or less depending on how sweet/tart your fruit is). Bring the two sides together and pinch tightly to seal the edges. Transfer to a well-floured cutting board.
7. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 3/4 Tbsp salt. Carefully place finished pierogi in boiling water. Add them in batches (maybe 1/4 at a time). Wait for them to float back too the top and then give them another minute to cook. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and drain well. Drizzle sugar in between layers of cooked pierogi to keep them from sticking to each other. The sugar will melt over the hot pierogies and turn into a light syrup. Serve with sour cream or eat them as is.
Plum Vareniki (Plum Pierogies)
How to Make Plum Vareniki:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together 1/3 cup buttermilk, 1/2 Tbsp sour cream, 1 cup warm water, 1 large egg, and 1 tsp salt, just until well blended.
Using the dough hook attachement, add in 2 cups flour and mix on speed 2 until well incorporated.
Add in the rest of your remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour, half a cup at a time, allowing each addition to become well incorporated before adding more. Allow the dough to mix for 15 minutes, then add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until your dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing another 5 minutes. Total mixing time from the time you first add flour is 20-25 min. Your dough will be elastic and feel sticky, but won't stick to your fingers.
Cover dough with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Cut off about a gumball of dough at a time and roll into a flat 3-inch circle sprinkling with flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface or the rolling pin.
Place two slices of your plum over half of your dough, being careful not to get plum juice on the edges of the dough or it won't stick together. Pour 1/2 tsp sugar over your plums (use more or less depending on how sweet/tart your fruit is). Bring the two sides together and pinch tightly to seal the edges. Transfer to a well-floured cutting board.
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and add 3/4 Tbsp salt.
Carefully place finished pierogies in boiling water. Add them in batches (maybe 1/4 at a time). Wait for them to float back too the top and then give them another minute to cook. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and drain well. Drizzle sugar in between layers of cooked pierogies to keep them from sticking to each other. The sugar will melt over the hot pierogies and turn into a light syrup. Serve with sour cream or eat them as is.
What’s YOUR favorite vareniki filling?
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Can I double this dough recipe? Would I have to mix it double the time as well?
Hi Larisa, I always make a batch at a time, but if you double it, that may work! You will not need to double the time it takes to rise, but make sure it is doubled, so watch it closely.
I have frozen plum halves and would like to use these. Can you see a problem making perogies with these? I was also considering using frozen wild blueberries.
Hi Nadia, It’s a little more slippery and harder to work with, but it definitely can be done 🙂
Question: How long can the dough sit in the fridge before it must be used? Would 24 hours be too long? I
Hi Paula, for best results, I always use the dough right away. I find it the most pliable and easy to work with when it is at room temperature and freshly made. It can also form a film if refrigerated.
Would it be good to use Kefir instead of buttermilk with this recipe? Seems more Russian that way anyway lol!
Hi Sarah, kefir and buttermilk are usually pretty interchangeable. That should work. It’s just slightly thicker so you may need just a little less flour.
hi Natasha my family is from Ukraine, Mom is from Kharkov, dad from Ternopil , so different recipes for the same food, you can understand, My wife is from Hungary, they make a unique version of Vareniky, they season their Plum version with Cinnamom, Butter and Honey, served tepid, in late Summer , its a killer version, love your website, you deserve and should strive for a Food Channel show, God Bless You, Happy Easter, Christos Voscress!
That’s so nice of you, Julian. Thank you for your kind words and great feedback. Happy Easter to you and your family too!
I can’t wait till summer to have apricot vareniky. They are the best !My mum also used to make some with grated apple but the apricot ones are my favourite.I have never had any with plums but I will try to make them by your recipe. I also make varenily with mashed potato, fried onion and fried bacon and served with sour cream. I too have Ukrainian heritage and am married to a Hungarian. Thankyou for your wonderful recipes and delightful and informative videos.
You’re welcome, Martha! I too can’t wait for summer and all the amazing fruit and vegetables!
My grandmother came from Poland, and these are a fond childhood memory. She added cinnamon with the plum and sugar, though. And a yummy, though strange, topping. She toasted saltine cracker crumbs in a frying pan with butter, added a little sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkled this on the hot plum pierogi. I made some recently- it was amazing-just like grandma used to make. Thank you for sharing your family recipes!
Sounds amazing! I’m sure your grandmother was an awesome cook. Thank you for sharing that with us and I’m glad these recipes bring back good family memories.
I was raised on Italian Plum Vereniki in a Mennonite home. we have maintained my mothers recipe of putting a half plum in each vereniki with a teaspoon of 50/50 icing sugar and corn starch in each plum stone divot. This makes a thickened sauce in each Vereniki. We eat them with salty smokey Fried ham or smoked sausage and a Cream gravy made with the drippings , butter and Whipping cream.
That sounds delicious! Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Bill!
i cant wait to try these!!! i do have a question, what would be a good side dish (or main) to make this a complete meal?? Thanks!
Hi Nikole. That’s a great question. We eat them on their own and they are filling enough. We sure them with sour cream, maybe some fresh fruit to go alongside? If you find a great side dish I would love to know about it!
Nikole, we typically have a couple of 3″ pieces of smoked farmers sausage fried lightly or a slab of smokey country Ham refried to obtain the smokey fat for the Cream gravy base.
Hi Natasha! Can I avoid using buttermilk for the dough in the recipe?
Hi Natalia, you might try this recipe with sour cream instead. I hope you love the recipe!
Hi Natasha! Can I use this for pelmeni? I have problems with my pelmeni falling apart while they are cooking. It is really frustrating when you spend so many hours making them. This dough looks really stable and delicious:)
Hi Tamara, yes this dough will work for pelmeni. I hope you love the recipe! I have found that it does help to remove the pelmeni just as soon as the meat is cooked through (about 2 minutes after they float to the surface).
Hi Natasha, how can I send you a recipe & pictures? One time I commented on these Vareniki and told you about the Hungarian version called Gomboc. You asked me to send you the recipe. I have a recipe that was published in a magazine that I could send you along with a picture.
Hello Cathy! If you are on Facebook, I would love it if you joined our private Facebook group where you can share your yummy photos!!
Hello. Thank you for the recipe; I was going to make this for my 87 year old mother, who remembers her grandmother making the cherry version.
1) in the mixing step, you write “Add in the rest of your flour 1/2 cup at a time allowing each addition to become well incorporated before adding more. Allow the dough to mix for 15 minutes, then add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until your dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.”
Do you mean add the three and a half cups, one half-cup at a a time, mix for 15 minutes, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons? If so, do you add only enough of the 3 tablespoons so it doesn’t stick to the sides anymore?
2) About how thinly do you roll out the dough?
Hi Scott, you will add the remaining flour which is 1 1/2 cups (1/2 cup at a time). I clarified that in the recipe. And yes, add the last 3 Tbsp as needed 🙂 We roll the dough about 1/8″ thick.
Can I freeze them once done, before boiling?
Hi Marianna, yes these can be frozen. Arrange them on a floured cutting board or baking sheet, just so they are not touching, dust them with flour and freeze. Once they are firm, transfer them to a freezer safe ziploc bag and freeze up to 3 months. If you put them in the freezer bag after they are already frozen, they wont stick and you can cook them from frozen (no need to thaw).
Hi! I’m Natasha, just like you 🙂 in many ways. I enjoy cooking, and my grandmother was Ukrainian. I live in Bosnia and Herzegovina and my grandmother made these often, my mom as well, but by the time I got interested in cooking both of them passed away. As I remember, dough recipe was different and we don’t have buttermilk here, so is there something I could use instead of it? I have some guests coming over in two days so I would like to serve them this for dessert. Thanks 🙂
HI Natasa, you might try this recipe with sour cream instead. I hope you love the recipe! 🙂
Hi, my heritage is Romanian/Polish/Ukranian and I’ve eaten perogi all my life. Although I’ve come across a couple of different dough recipes for boiled perogi usually the dough receipe I use is simply 2 C flour, (up to) 1 C water, salt to taste (maybe 1/2 tsp?), and either 1 beaten egg OR 1 sloppy TBSP of oil (son had allergies).
I make a well in the flour, sprinkle in salt, and add not quite the whole 1 C of water (I save and cool the boiled potato water to use AND I add in either the egg or the oil to make up total liquid). With the liquids in the flour well, I beat just until it all comes together and forms a ball (you should be able to rub your hands together and have dough come away cleanly from hands). You’re supposed to cover with a damp towel for about 20 minutes but I’ve rolled out the dought right away and didn’t notice any huge difference.
I quarter the dough and roll out thin enough to see through (about 1/8″). I usuallly use a glass dipped in flour and cut rounds out of the rolled out dough, then fill each round. Good luck and enjoy!
P.S. I also have a receipt for baked perogi with sour cream and baking soda that are served in a dill/garlic sauce – yummy!
I am happy to find your piroshki/vareniki dough recipe. My grandmother, from L’vov (now L’viv and was Lemberg when my grandmother lived there, Austro-Hungary) used to make piroshki both with meat and also potato. She also used to make the plum vareniki and they were the same dough. The plum dumplings were boiled and when I used to bite into them, the hot plum would scald my mouth. The piroshki were baked I think, not fried, or leavened with yeast like so many recipes. Thank you. I will try your recipe. Such a shame that I did not think to get her recipes.
My pleasure! Please let me know what you think of the recipes!
Hi Natasha, i noticed that you used half cup less flour than in your other vareniki dough, is there any reason for that? Which is your prefered? My vareniki seem to take forever to boil no matter how thin i try making them, so im trying to get a different dough recipe. Also could you please share a tvorog nachinka? Thanks so much!:)
Hi Val, I have a few different dough recipes and it’s usually to accommodate for a differing amount of liquid ingredients. The lengthy cooking may be due to rolling the dough out too thick. Try rolling it a little thinner and see if that makes a difference for you. I don’t have a tvorog filling yet but thank you for the idea! 🙂
that’s amazing recipe! In China we make dumpling like that, but we never put plums or any fruit inside. Can we try with cherry?
Hi Tracy, yes absolutely! Cherries are absolutely delicious inside! 🙂
Hi Natasha! The 6th graders I teach read a story about plum vareniki and I told our English teacher I would make some. I’ve made pierogi, vareniki, and pelmeni before (plus Asian dumplings) so I’m not worried, but is there any way to pre-cook these? I will definitely make and freeze, but I’m trying to figure out the logistics of cooking. Thank you!!! I’m so excited to share this with the kids. (My family is Polish and I grew up in a heavily Ukrainian area, then studied Russian in college. But it’s all new for my students.) I’ll share a photo when we do the tasting!
Hi Elizabeth, I have reheated them successfully on a buttered skillet after they were boiled and they get this lovely crust on them that is so good. I think that would be better with a savory vareniki recipe like the potato vareniki (pierogi). Also, be careful with serving the fruit-filled ones – they can get surprisingly hot in the center with the fruit juices and quite messy if the juice spurts. I would stick with the potato ones for that reason also.
Being married to someone with a Polish background (Okinewski), I’ve made goulash & golubki but haven’t tried pierogies. My new boss has a Polish background & happened to mention plum pierogies so I’ll see if I can get early brownie points 🙂
I’d give you a raise! 😉 I love that there are so many similar flavor preferences between Polish and Ukrainian food.
I made these today exactly as described and they were delicious!! I was wondering if I can freeze them before boiling? I would like to make more for later while I have fresh picked plums. Thank you
I think it would work well to freeze them, just dust with flour and place them in the freezer in a single layer then once they are fully frozen, transfer to ziploc bags and return to the freezer.
I wouldn’t advise that. I did this and the dough turned paperlike. Now I boil, cook, freeze in a layer, and then bag.
Hi Pat, I’ve never had that experience. Did you use this dough recipe when that happened? I’ve seen that happen when working with wonton wrappers but this a a pretty sturdy dough for freezing.
This recipe reminded me of my childhood friend Tania and her Mom’s Lekvar Prune Butter filled Varenikis! Those were my favorite. I also enjoyed my Mom’s Potato & Cheese Pierogies.
I love it when a recipe brings great memories from the childhood :).
Hi! One of my roommates was from Russia and we were comparing food. He told me about the pelmeni. A friend of mine called them verenekie (phonetic spelling) and always talked about all the butter. I didn’t know you had fruit versions. My parents are Hungarian and we ate lots of Hungarian food. One of our favourites was very similar – called gomboc. We made dough from left-over mashed potatoes adding an egg and some flour. We filled them with a thick plum jam or now I fill with a pitted prune. We served then with breadcrumbs browned in butter and sugar. Our dumplings looked different too — we cut a square and put fruit in middle and then brough all the corners up and pinched the dough closed. I also made then with a sweeted ricotta filling which was excellent too.
I want to get one of these moulds as it will speed up production – especially if making on my own. Otherwise it’s kind of a fun and relaxing thing to do with friends or family. I will give your recipe a try. Thanks for your post.
Your versions sound amazing!! Would you be able to share your recipes with me? I’d love to try them! My email: natashaskitchen @ yahoo.com (no spaces).
found this recipe a few months ago.
am commenting now!
my Ciocia Genny made plum pierogies all the time.
she had plum trees bordering her back yard.
damson plums and one Italian plum tree.
when they were ripe they were used fresh for pies, pierogies, and on breakfast kasha (buckwheat groats).
she also canned them and made jam.
at Wiglia she made the plum pierogies.
we poured melted butter with cinnamom over them.
such good memories.
your dough recipe is different than the one i use.
so i decided to try your dough recipe to make plum pierogies.
i want to thank you for posting this because they were delightful!!!
this was a great dough recipe.
i also made them with apples and blueberries.
thank you for sharing this!
I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you so much for sharing that with me and for sharing your food memories 🙂
My absolute favorite too (plums)with butter cream sauce and sugar. I learned to make them to get them more often,
🙂 Aren’t they great? I love how juicy the plums get with cooking.
Oh my Oh my!!! For the filling I used a mix of bluberries and blank current. They where mouth watering kind is good
That combination sounds delicious, thank you for the great review Diana :).
Can I use frozen fruit?
Yes! 🙂 It’s a little more slippery to work with, but it definitely can be done 🙂
My favorite filling was when my mom would make the perogies with potatoes and cheese…..my godmother would make it with plums ….pretty tasty…myself well, unfortunately the family recipes died with my mom so I was so glad to see yours!! My kids and hubby loves them. We used to buy it from the Ukranian Auxilary at their bazaar held at Christmas time. That’s a long way off and since moving five years ago, we haven’t had any since its too far to drive. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
You’re so welcome! I love the potato ones best in butter and paired with sour cream. Yum!
Thank you so much for sharing recipes. This new recipy of pierogies came out delicious, made some with cherries and potatoes with onion. Thanks to ur mom for sharing and thank you for finding time to post all these recipes I Love your website. Everything that I made from your website came out delicious Thank you So Much. God Bless your family!
You’re so sweet! Thank you so much. I’m so blessed by your comment 🙂
These lil guys look scrumptious and I just happen to have some plums too. I really wanted to make these today until I saw the recipe requires 15 minutes of mixing! I only have a hand mixer which probably won’t handle the pressure of mixing the dough. Is there an alternative? Would it be possible to mix it by hand? Thank you, as always for sharing deliciousness with us!
You could definitely mix it by hand it’s just quite a chore. My mom kneaded dough by hand for years until she bought a KitchenAid 🙂 Kneading thoroughly makes it soft and elastic.
After making the dough, how long can you store it refrigerated or frozen until ready to assemble.
Hi Patty, for best results, I always use the dough right away. I find it to be the most pliable and easy to work with when it is at room temperature and freshly made. It can also form a film if refrigerated.
I was delighted to find this recipe! Thank you SOOO much! My Grandma used to make these as a very special treat when plums were in season! I shall be making this recipe thanks to you Natasha! Now, I want a recipe for “Sauerkraut
Perogie” as they are not as common as all the others.
I’ve seen braised cabbage pierogies, but not sauerkraut. Hmmm that sounds interesting. Is there anything else in there (like meat), or is it just sauerkraut?
Natasha, my dough turned out seemingly perfect, but after cooking the vareniki, the dough was chewy and rubbery, not sponge-like fluffy as I expected. What is the key to light and fluffy dough?
Did you mix it long enough? Kneading the dough with your dough hook will make it softer. You also have to roll it out fairly thin. If the dough is too thick, it might be chewy. Flour made in Canada also makes a softer dough. Hope that helps!
I have never had plum vareniki! I can just imagine how good they are!
I think they are equal to cherry vareniki 🙂
Thanks for the recipe. Delicious!
You are welcome Dina :).
Hi Natasha, would it be ok to make dough a day ahead? Or would it harden?
It’s absolutely best to use fresh dough with this recipe.
We are moving to Ukraine in November and last night we had a “Ukraine Night” with some friends. Each of us made some food to share. I made vareniki with cherries. YUM! I think my favorite kind in Ukraine is with potatoes and the yummy friend onions on top. Now I’m hungry!! 😉
Yum :), vareniki with cherries never get old. Which part of Ukraine are you moving to?
I made the “vareniki” yesterday in the mixer ! ! !….. so much easier thank the old way …. and I will make them again. My mom would be proud! ! And yes, I made them with blueberries, but will make them with plums next time. Again thank you for bringing great memories. With my mom gone, you bring the Ukrainian in me………Дякую 🙂
I’m so happy it brings back memories for you 🙂 What a sweet way to remember your Mama. Thanks for sharing that with me.
Sounds interesting with the plum.
Would these work with peaches/nectarines?? Just bought a big box of sweet organic peaches and nectarines and am trying to see what else I could do with them! Thanks!
I think they would be amazing with both. You might try chopping them into smaller chunks and adjust sugar to the sweetness of your fruit 🙂
I don’t remember ever eating fruit vareniki. I might’ve done as a child but I don’t remember it and the texture of boiled fruit scares me a little. 🙂 Yours however, look REALLY beautiful. Btw, creme fraiche in England taste very similar to smetana in Russia, more so than sour cream ever does.
Oh, Natasha, it is a real joy every time I receive notification of a new post! These look awesome and making the dough in the mixer – genius!
Aww, thank you Iryna! You are so sweet 🙂 Yes, using the mixer just makes life so much easier!
Wow these look amazing! I love vareniki with fruit inside. I agree, it does bring back happy childhood memories . Definitely need to try your recipe.
I would love to hear how they turn out :).
Wow, I didn’t realize making your own homemade vareniki was so easy. I am Russian, but my mom always bought the pre-made frozen ones with cherries (which are great, but I am sure homemade are better!) I have tried my mother-in-laws (she’s Polish) homemade potato pierogies and they were amazing! I am definitely going to try these with the plums!!! Looks so easy to make and delicious! Thanks!
I agree, they are easy to make, just take some time :).
Need to try it with plums!! In our family we always made them with strawberries! and we make ours ‘na pary’ the dough comes out very fluffy!! I also love vareniki with cabbage!! 🙂
Need to try it with blueberries… my favorite…. drizzled with honey !!
You just made me drool Irena :D, I need to try that asap.
Vareniki are on my menu for this week and I was so happy to read your post this morning. I was going to make mine with blueberries and cherries, but now I think I’ll make some with plums too.
Let me know which one tastes the best, but I don’t think you can go wrong with any of those ingredients :).
Great idea to make vareniki with plums. Yum!!!
Looks yummy! I like the idea of cutting a little bit of dough each time to make a varenik. In my family they usually made a very thin layer of dough and cut out a bunch of circles using a glass or a cup. I think your way is good ’cause it is less messy. Its also good for small kitchens where you don’t have much space to roll out the dough.
Ah, oh…sweet vareniki are my favourite! #1 cherries, #2 strawberries. Never tried or heard of them made with plums. OMG, I will be making them this month and will try with plums. And yes, I totally agree, sweet vareniki – THE BEST summer childhood food. My grandma always made them. With sour cream and more sugar on top. TO DIE FOR!!! Ukrainian sour cream is OMG so good. Recently tried similar one in Mexico. Was missing vareniki though.:)
My mom in law buys Mexican sour cream for same reason :).
I should look for a Mexican store in Vancouver too.:) Just tried it on my recent vacation to Mexico. Loved the cottage cheese too!
You should try vareniki with sour cherries (vishnya). We buy jarred because it’s hard to find fresh one. To die for!!!
I’ve tried with fresh cherries and it was very good. I’ll have to give it a whirl.
I really have to try them with strawberries; wow that sounds good!!