If using frozen berries, place them in a colander over a large bowl an hour before, to drain excess liquid (take note that some berries, such as cherries, are still quite wet after defrosting). Save drained juice for later.
To thicken the filling, add 1 teaspoon starch to berries and mix gently. Set aside; if not thickened enough after 10 minutes, add another teaspoon of cornstarch.
A delicious sauce for the dessert vareniki can be made from the juice of the frozen berries. In a small saucepan, combine the gathered juice with sugar and boil over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. Then mix it with 2 TBs sour cream or unflavoured yogurt.
To prepare dough:
In a large bowl, beat eggs and salt and sugar. Pour in milk and oil and mix well. Add the pre-sifted flour, one cup at a time, mixing with a spatula after each addition. Knead the dough well with your hands: it will take about 7 minutes. The finished dough should not stick to your hands. If dough remains sticky, add more flour and continue kneading.
Place dough in a large clean bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
To shape vareniki:
Sprinkle working surface with flour and roll out the dough in an even, thin layer (about ½ a centimeter). Using a cookie cutter or a glass, cut circles out of dough. Once all the circles have been cut, gather leftover dough, roll again and make more circles; continue doing this until you run out of dough.
Put some filling in the center of each circle, and top with 1 teaspoon of sugar. The quantity of the filling will depend on the size of the circles, but ½-1 teaspoon (or a few berries) is a good ballpark. If there is not enough filling, the taste of the dough will be too pronounced. And if you have too much, then the the vareniki can fall apart during cooking.
Once filling is in, fold the circles with the filling in half and tightly bind the edges. Make sure that the filling does not go beyond the limits of the dough. You can leave the vareniki in this form, or you can make a braid around the seam, or pinch them into a folded circle. To make a braid, moving in one direction, gradually fold the edge of the dough on itself; to make a folded circle, take the two ends of the half circle and bring them together with a pinch.
To cook vareniki, stick to small portions (20-30 vareniki at once). If cooking more, dumplings can stick together, so it’s better to cook them in stages.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (cook these like pasta, using 1 heaping teaspoon of salt per 2 litres of water). It is necesssary to salt the water in which you are to cook vareniki, even if using a sweet filling - the salt will prevent the dumplings from sticking together.
Once water is boiling, place the vareniki in the water and reduce the heat to medium.
Stir the dumplings gently and wait for them to float; this should take only a few minutes. Once vareniki float, continue boiling them for another 2–5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough. During cooking, stir the dumplings periodically.
Drain vareniki of water. Serve with sour cream, jam or the prepared berry sauce.
Dessert vareniki with berry filling https://immigrantstable.com/russian-vegetarian-vareniki/ March 23, 2020