I don’t have an explanation why we’ve never made dumplings with red and black currants at home. My Mom used to add currents to the sauce, but never fill dumplings with them. It’s funny that I am tasting this well known version of Ukrainian varenyki only now, so far from home, in Texas, where currants are exotic! I asked myself why dumplings with tart cherries and currants are so popular in Eastern European countries. I think, the key is the intensity of sweet and sour flavors rounded with soft dough and a little bit of cream or butter. Many other fruit and berries change its flavor when cooked, but tart cherries and currants keep it well and tease our taste buds with every bite!
85gblack currantsfresh, sliced, or a combination of other seasonal berries
50mlheavy whipping cream
2tbspmelted butterto coat cooked dumplings
Mix all ingredients, knead an elastic dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 1 hour in room temperature or overnight refrigerated.
Remove currants form their stems. Prepare sugar and starch dry mix.
for shaping and cooking varenyki
Fill big pot with water and place it over high heat. You need about 2 gallons of boiling salty water to cook 14 dumplings of this size.
Dusting the working surface with flour. Unwrap the dough, roll it into a cylinder (1" D), and cut it to 14 equal portions. Flatten each portion to make round wrappers (1.5 " D). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Work with one dumpling wrapper at a time, keeping the rest covered with plastic wrap. Roll each wrapper 2.5" D, fill it with 1 tbsp of currants, shape, and place under the plastic wrap. Repeat with all wrappers.
The water will be boiling by the time you are done shaping the dumplings. Place all dumplings in boiling water at the same time and cook for about 3 minutes. Do not cover. At the beginning, they will sink to the bottom. When they are cooked, they will float. Give them 1-2 more minutes after that happens and strain.
In a bowl, place 2 tbsp melted butter and hot cooked dumplings. Gently shake the bowl to coat dumplings with butter. It prevents them from sticking to each other and drying.
While varenyki are boiling, prepare the sauce. Mix some corn starch with cold black currant juice and slowly bring to simmer, stirring. Cook for 2 minutes to let the sauce thicken. Taste it to make sure the flavor of raw starch is gone. Turn off the heat and it cool a little. Add fresh berries and cream to the cooked sauce. The sauce and varenyki should be ready for serving at the same time.