Being of Byzantine Catholic Slovak heritage, Good Friday dinner has always been meatless, and for as long as I can remember the menu always includes pirohy (or perogies as most people know them). Over the past number of years my mother and I have limited our wheat intake, but luckily that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on eastern Europe’s equivalent to ravioli. A friend shared this recipe with my mother a few years back; it was originally a gluten-free pasta recipe from Bette Hagman’s Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods that handily adapted into making delicious gluten-free perogies that are just as simple to make as the wheat flour variety. And in preparation for this coming Friday’s meal, it was a family affair this past Sunday afternoon as my mother and I were joined by one of my brothers and nephews, and my niece who were all keen to learn how Baba (grandmother in Slovak and most eastern European languages) makes perogies. Keep reading for the full recipe and more photos…
You can use any traditional perogi filling you prefer, but my favourite is cheese and potato…
2 large potatoes, cubed, boiled, and mashed
1 heaping tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1/3 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup tapioca flour (not starch)
1 cup cornstarch (not flour)
6 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
cornstarch for kneading
- To make the filling, mix all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- To make the dough, combine the three flours, xanthan gum, and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs. Pour liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until ball forms. Knead 1-2 minutes, adding more cornstarch if necessary. Work until the dough will not accept any more cornstarch and is firm enough to roll.
- Separate the dough into thirds. Roll each ball of dough out until about 1/8” thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into rectangles about 2” wide and 2 1/2” long.
- In the palms of your hands, roll some filling into a ball about 3/4” in diameter and place in the middle of a dough rectangle. Fold over the rectangle on the long side and pinch edges to keep dough from escaping during cooking. Place on a cookie sheet lightly dusted with cornstarch. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Fill a large stockpot with salted water and bring to a boil. Drop perogies one by one into the boiling water. Cook until perogies float and are done when tested, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- After perogies are boiled and drained, brown butter in a skillet and pour over perogies; toss or gently mix well. (At this point perogies can be laid out on cookie sheets lined with wax paper, cooled, and frozen for future enjoyment. Once frozen, place in airtight bags or containers.)
Makes about 6 to 7 dozen.