Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pyrohi - Baked Vegetable Tarts

 Vegetable Pyrohi
Comfort food when I was growing up.  My Mother and Grandmother, Aunts and Cousins all baked these vegetable filled,  yeast raised dough tarts.  They are served at many special occasions and any family meal.  They freeze well and reheat to a 'softness' that is like 'just made'.
 I decided to bake up a batch of these last week - I chose to fill them with sauerkraut, cottage cheese, carrot, pumpkin and a few apple/cinnamon and strawberry.  They are great as  'portable' lunches which take just minutes to reheat and topped with a bit of melted butter and sour cream with a green salad on the side - a perfect lunch, supper or snack.
Vegetable Pyrohi

Cottage Cheese, Romano Bean and Sauerkraut ready
to be stuffed into the pastry.

Eggs, salt are added to the dry cottage cheese.

The cottage cheese should stay together as above
 (when squeezed together in your hand)
   if it doesn't, add another egg.

This recipe called or 12 eggs, beaten

I shredded the carrots,

The carrots are 'dry fried' to remove excess moisture.

Pumpkin is 'cooked down' to remove excess moisture.
The pumpkin after it has cooked down and is much drier.
The yeast dough has risen and is ready to be rolled,
cut and filled.
  The dough is either rolled out with a rolling pin
or just pat it out to 1/4 inch thickness with your hands.

Cut rounds out with either cookie cutter or glass like I did.
You can choose the size you would like but don't make it too small.

Cutting the rounds out.
 All the dough has been rolled out and cut out

 Place your filled onto the round and proceed to fold
and close.

 You can see the folding in this photo

This video shows how the folding is done.

The tarts are all stuffed and ready to rise for an hour
then baked. 

Beautifully browned Pyrohi ready for sampling.

 Carrot and cottage cheese peeking out from the light
and pillowy dough.
 They are like jewels on a plate.....all that is needed
is a bit of melted butter, sour cream and a table filled
with family or friends to share this delicious food.
(this recipe is from the Hospitality - Cooking the Doukhobor Way Cookbook) 
(this is a large recipe but it can be cut in half )
2  1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
4 Tbsp yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 dozen eggs
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
11 cups flour
Heat milk, shortening, and butter just until boiling point.  Cool.
Dissolve 2 tsp sugar and yeast in water.  Let stand 15 minutes.
Beat eggs, salt and 1/2 cup sugar.
Mix together with cooled milk.
Add flour to make a soft dough.
Let rise once.
When dough has risen ,   roll or press out dough onto counter ( 1/4 inch thick)
Depending on the size of your cutter, small size use approximately 2 Tbsp filling
  on the circle and spread slightly.
F old top of circle over filling and bring the edges towards the centre of the filling so
they are almost touching, fold bottom edge up.
Place on lightly greased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart and let rise or about
45 minutes to 1 hour. 
Bake until lightly browned.
Serve with melted butter and sour cream.
Cottage Cheese:  Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the dry cottage cheese ( I buy dry cottage cheese and then freeze it - defrost and squeeze out moisture) this helps the curds to break down into nice fine curds.   For 3 cups of cheese, use 2 large eggs, salt to taste.  Mix well.
Beans:  If using dry beans cook  (Romano/Italian/kidney)  until soft.  Drain and reserve some liquid.
Mash well, use some the the bean liquid  and some cream to make into spreadable consistency, add a pinch of sugar and salt to  taste.  I used canned beans, drained them and then cooked them dry in a frying pan to remove excess moisture.
Peas:  Use either split peas or frozen peas or a mixture of both.  Cook peas until tender, mash well, add salt and sugar to taste (sugar is optional). 
 Pumpkin: Put cooked pumpkin  into a frying pan, add 2 Tbsp of butter and cook until thick.  Add sugar or honey and a pinch of salt.
Beets:  Cook and peel beets.  Grate on fine grater, add a bit of butter and salt to taste. 
Saute or a few minutes.
Sauerkraut:   Drain sauerkraut very well, shred and saute lightly to remove excess moisture.
Potato:  Peel and boil potatoes in salted water.  Drain and mash well, add egg to make a soft filling.  Add some black pepper, minced garlic or sauteed onion.
"Kind words can be  short and easy to speak,
 but their echoes are truly endless"........Mother Teresa

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