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Martha's Favorite Food
"I am often asked the question: What is your favorite food? Although I always answer Japanese, the real response should be and is pierogi, the delectable Polish dumplings that my mother, Big Martha, made so well in many incarnations: potato, sweet cabbage, blueberry, peach, plum, and apricot."
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Make the dough: Whisk together egg and sour cream. Whisk in milk and water. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time.
For the Dough
- 1 large egg, lightly whisked
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
- Yellow cornmeal, for dusting
For the Filling
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Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Using a bench scraper, turn and fold dough to knead, dusting with flour as needed, until elastic and no longer sticky, 8 to 10 minutes. (Dough will be loose and sticky. It will come together as you knead it. Be careful not to add too much flour, which will toughen dough.) Cover with an inverted bowl; let rest for 1 hour.
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Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a clean linen towel, and dust generously with cornmeal to prevent sticking.
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Roll out 1 piece of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch-thick round (keep other pieces covered).
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Cut out circles very close together, using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or glass (5 inches for the plum version). Cover with plastic wrap to prevent dough from drying. Repeat with remaining dough.
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Fill pierogi: Place filling in center of each dough circle. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
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Holding 1 circle in your hand, fold dough over filling; pinch edges, forming a well-sealed crescent. Transfer to cornmeal-dusted towel; loosely cover with plastic. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Working in batches, transfer pierogi to pot of boiling water. Pierogi will sink to the bottom and then rise. Once they rise, cook through, about 2 minutes more (or up to 4 minutes for plum pierogi, depending on ripeness of fruit).
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For savory pierogi, coat a platter with half the butter. Transfer pierogi to platter using a slotted spoon. Drizzle pierogi with remaining butter, and season with salt. For sweet pierogi, transfer to a platter using a slotted spoon, and dot with sour cream.