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+ servings

Vareniky with Tart Cherries

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Eastern European
Keyword berry, breakfast, dumplings, fruit, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe, sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 dumplings


for dough

  • 130 g wheat flour all-purpose
  • 60 ml milk
  • 1 egg yolk large
  • 1 pinch kosher salt

for filling

  • 450 g tart cherries pitted, frozen
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp Kirsch or Cherry Bounce
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

for sauce

  • 120 ml tart cherry juice strained and reserved earlier
  • 1/2 lb strawberries fresh, sliced, or a combination of other seasonal berries
  • 1 tsp corn starch


for dough

  • Mix all ingredients, knead an elastic dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 1 hour in room temperature or overnight refrigerated.

for filling

  • Mix frozen tart cherries and sugar 8:1. Add Kirsch or Cherry Bounce. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.
    Frozen Tart Cherries
  • The cherries will slowly thaw and the sugar will draw the moisture from them at the same time. Strain and reserve the juice.
    Thawed Tart Cherries with Juice
  • Gently squeeze extra moisture out of drained tart cherries. Sprinkle them with starch. Added starch will catch all the juices inside the cooking dumplings.

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 10 dumplings of this size.
  • This dough recipe doesn't require dusting the working surface with flour. Unwrap the dough, roll it into a cylinder (1" D), and cut it to 10 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 tart cherries, 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 5 to 7 minutes. Do not cover. At the beginning, they will sink to the bottom. When they are cooked, they will float. Give them about 2 more minutes after that happens and strain.
  • In a bowl, place 1-2 tbsp butter and hot cooked dumplings. Gently shake the bowl to move dumplings. Their heat will melt the butter and butter will coat them preventing sticking and drying.

for sauce

  • While varenyki are boiling, prepare the sauce. Mix some corn starch with reserved cold tart cherry 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 add other fresh berries to the cooked sauce. The sauce and varenyki should be ready for serving at the same time.
    Varenyki z Vyshnei — Tart Cherry Dumplings


To start with fresh tart cherries:
1. Wash the cherries, remove and discard their stems, remove and reserve their pits.
2. Put cherries in a bowl and mix with sugar 8:1 (by volume). Let the sugar draw out cherry juices for about 3 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Strain the juice and reserve it for later use.
3. Break reserved pits.
Tart Cherries and Their Pits
Tart Cherries and Their Pits

To extract the flavor, place broken pits in a sauté pan, add the strained cherry juice, and simmer until reduced by half and slightly thicken. Cool it down to the room temperature and strain to remove pit fragments. Allow the syrup to cool prior to using it in Step 5.
4. Gently squeeze extra moisture out of drained sour cherries. You can sprinkle them with some corn starch. Added starch will absorb and thicken left over cherry juices inside the cooked dumplings.
5. While varenyki are boiling or steaming, prepare the sauce. Mix some corn starch with the tart cherry syrup (1/2 tsp starch per 1 cup of liquid) and slowly bring to simmer. Add more pitted tart cherries or other berries to the sauce at this point. Cook for 2 minutes to let the sauce thicken. Taste it to make sure the flavor of raw starch is gone. The sauce and varenyki should be ready for serving at the same time.