Like any traditional food, there are probably as many pierogi recipes as there are families of Polish extraction. A pierogi, which translates into “small pie,” is a moon-shaped dumpling filled with either a savory or sweet filling. Traditional fillings reflected a subsistence diet and were based on cabbage, sauerkraut, onion, potato, and cheese. Meats (precooked), mushrooms, and other savory ingredients were added to the mix as economics improved. Traditional sweet fillings were cherries, blueberries, and prunes, and people the world over have fond memories of pierogies.
Generally a pierogi is made with a fairly rich dough (often including sour cream). The dough is rolled out, the stuffing spooned on, the dumpling is sealed, and then put in a pot of boiling water for five minutes or more for savory pierogies and 10 to 15 minutes for sweet ones. After they are drained, savory pierogies are often sautéed briefly with thinly sliced onions in butter; sweet ones are served with melted butter or softened cream cheese or sour cream. Some recipes we have seen bake the pierogies instead of boiling them, but that appears to be more a matter of convenience and less of flavor.