Spotting sour cherries in New England is like spotting a unicorn. They are so rare, I buy them every time I see them. My knee jerk reaction to these sparkling little beauties is cherry pie or tart. But then I remembered my oven door...
It's stuck. Completely stuck. No one in my family can open it. Wasn't it replaced just 4 months ago? Yes -- it's the new door. This one failed even faster than the old one. I let the manufacturer know that the door was sticking again on Jun 11. They replied on June 15 saying that they will send me a new one (as always there are no definite dates). Last one took a month and a half to be replaced. On June 17, my door got completely stuck. I let them know and am waiting to hear from them.
But back to the cherries. No oven door was going to stop me from enjoying them and instead of a pie, I made vareniki (Ukrainian version of pierogi). Sammy, my almost 3 year old daughter, was overjoyed. Not only did she get to play with dough and count the cherries, but she got her two favorite foods (pasta and berries) all in one package.
I won't post the detailed recipe here because I doubt many people will make them. They are labor intensive and require excellent pasta making skills. In case you are proficient with the pasta technique, I'll give you a quick explanation on how they are made.
You make a pasta dough using all-purpose flour (9 oz), 2 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (1 tsp table), 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp water. Let it rest at least 1.5 hours, roll out to thickness of "5" on a pasta machine, cut into circles about 3 inches in diameter and fill each circle with pitted cherries (2-3) and sugar (about 1/4 tsp). I suggest you pit your cherries right before shaping so that they don't release too much juice. Seal the edges together and shape the rest of vareniki. Boil them in salted water as soon as you are done shaping or they'll leak. I usually start the water when I start shaping. Toss them gently with butter. Then sprinkle with sugar, top with sour cream (or thick Greek full fat yogurt). Toss gently and let them cool about 5 minutes. They also work with blueberries (the more sour the better), and apricots.
Is this a dessert? Kind of. They are not as sweet as most desserts, but not savory either. We usually serve a very light savory meal before fruit vareniki to leave plenty of room for them.