Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pierogi with Bilberries

Serves 4

440 g pierogi dough (click HERE for the basic pierogi dough)
300 g wild bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus)
1 tablespoon flour
200 ml sour cream or thick natural yogurt
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Sort out the bilberries and remove all rotten fruits and remaining leaves.
Put the berries in a bowl and delicately mix them with flour; do not mash the fruits.
In a small saucepan, melt butter; add breadcrumbs and fry on a very small flame until gold and crispy. Put aside.
Mix cream with sugar, and put aside.
Prepare pierogi with the berries, and cook them as described in the basic recipe LINK.
Serve immediately after cooking.
Sprinkle with cream and breadcrumbs on top (warm them up right before serving).

I have a sentiment to wild bilberries, as I spent tons of hours in my life picking them up in the summertime. Besides, I like them a lot. They are best fresh, just collected in the morning. Such an opportunity is of course not common nowadays, as I do not live in Poland and even when I visit Kraków, the last thing I think about is to jump into a car at 5 a.m., and drive several kilometers to find a forest, and the fruits. I buy my berries on a local market from local women, who come regularly from outside Kraków. The berries are still cheap, much more than in France, as all other wild fruits, where I cannot afford them to buy in wholesale quantities.

I like these berries the most with just a bit of thick, natural yogurt, some vanilla grains and a pinch or two of sugar.
And, of course, in pierogi, as a filling.
I am a great fan of pierogi, but not a huge amateur of fruits. In Poland, during summertime, people cook a lot of pierogi with various fruits inside. Those with wild bilberries I like the most. As a dressing, except for cream or thick yoghurt, I always add a bit of breadcrumbs delicately fried on a frying pan with freshly melted butter - this is so unhealthy, but awfully tasty!
You can find those pierogi in the summertime in nearly every bar mleczny (“milk bar” - a type of quick restaurant, about which I will write later), cantina, pierogarnia (a type of restaurant carrying only pierogi) as well as better restaurants serving traditional food.
Those pierogi may be eaten cold, as a dessert, but then the dough, in my opinion, is too tough, and I prefer them just cooked, served hot.


Pascal said...

This is Great!

Szalony Kucharz said...

The professional presentation, as well as the detailed recipe make it hard to believe that these are typical, homemade dishes that our moms and grannies used to make. (except for oscypek maybe, which was and still is sort of a specialty item, not easily available in the northern regions of Poland) Way to go, Magda! If you keep it up, you'll soon put Polish cuisine on every gourmand's map.

Anonymous said...

Magdalena, congratulations ! Looks like a great blog has just appeared on the cyber cooking e-market ! Your beautifully illustrated recipes are more like culinary stories. Every ethnic cuisine has its delicious secrets and food jewels - and Polish has too. I hope your blog will grow in the same manner as you just started it ! Bon apetit - smacznego !

Polish gourmet cuisine afficionado

Magdalena said...

Hello Szalony Kucharz!
Thanks a lot for your encouraging comment!…I will try to do my best so the blog will be interesting even for those who know Polish cooking…. of course, the recipes presented in my blog are my family recipes, sometimes a bit “upgraded” as I avoid the excess of pork back fat, for example…. So I realize that many of you, who know Polish culinary traditions and cook Polish food, may have some objections and comments…! I am open to all constructive comments, also as regards my English, as I am not a native speaker, nor a translator.

Magdalena said...

Polish gourmet cuisine aficionado…thanks for your comment, as well. I am the author of the pictures, although I do not know much about photography and it is a huge improvisation!

Karolina said...

This is my favourite polish food - sweet or savoury - doesn't matter. I love pierogi. :) I wish I could take such beautiful photos.

Anonymous said...

Do you mean "blueberries" (Fr. myrtilles/bleuets) rather than "bilberries'?

Otherwise everything looks tasty!

Magdalena said...

Hello, anonymous
I mean “bilberry”, a small berry from the same family as “bluberry”.
Its latin term is Vaccinium myrtillus.
According to Wikipedia, the English equivalent is a bilberry, and the French - myrtille commune.
Following Wikipedia, one characteristic of bilberries is that they produce single or paired berries on the bush instead of clusters, as the blueberries do.
The Bilberry fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry and similar in taste. Bilberries are darker in colour, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of blue. While the blueberry's fruit pulp is light green, the bilberry's is red or purple, heavily staining the fingers and lips of consumers eating the raw fruit.
Bilberries are softer and juicier than blueberries, making them difficult to transport.

Magdalena said...

thanks !
as far as I remember, you take beautiful photos...!

Mich said...


Magdalena said...

Mich, dzieki!

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