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The Dessert Pierogi Unique To One Region Of Canada

Berry-filled pierogi in a metal dish
Berry-filled pierogi in a metal dish - JacZia/Shutterstock

Typically, pierogi feature a savory flavor. Some of the most commonly enjoyed fillings include mashed potato, cheese, or sauerkraut. Others might include a little bit of protein in the form of pork, beef, or chicken. One region of Canada, however, serves up a unique dessert pierogi.

In Saskatchewan, Canada, you can bite into a saskatoon berry-filled pierogi. The fruit grows around the region, and hints of mild almond earthiness contrast the sweet flavor. The berries are mixed into something resembling pie filling, then folded inside pierogi dough to create a sweet version of the usually savory food. Saskatoon berry pie is a Canadian comfort food, but adding the berries to pierogi dough can make for a smaller portion.

The berry pierogi is often made by residents of the region, but it's made and sold in local pierogi shops, too. The saskatoon berry-filled pierogi might be unique to the area, but the idea of the sweet and fruity pierogi had been around for a while before making it to Canada. The recipe it's derived from actually originated in Europe.

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The Original Recipe Didn't Use Saskatoon Berries

Saskatoon berries on vine
Saskatoon berries on vine - Amelia Martin/Shutterstock

Pierogi is a popular cuisine in Central and Eastern Europe. According to Atlas Obscura, Ukrainian immigrants brought over their recipes for prune-filled pierogi more than a century ago. However, because prunes weren't readily available in the Canadian Prairie region, they swapped in saskatoon berries, which could be found more easily. The substitution proved positive in the long run, and the sweet pierogi flavor has remained popular in the area.

The pierogi can, of course, be eaten on their own. The berries wrapped in dough are usually boiled on the stovetop and then fried in butter, and may resemble miniature hand pies. When fried, the outer dough may become crispy and could more closely resemble pie crust. If you prefer to eat your pie a la mode, you can enjoy the pierogi alongside a scoop of ice cream. They can also be eaten with sour cream, whipped cream, or crème fraîche.

Try Making The Pierogi At Home

Cherry-filled pierogi on a plate
Cherry-filled pierogi on a plate - freeskyline/Shutterstock

If you're nowhere near Saskatchewan, it might be difficult to find saskatoon pierogi for sale. Fortunately, though, you may be able to make your own. Saskatoon berries are also called juneberries. Although they're commonly found in the Canadian region, they can also be purchased in some specialty food stores or farmers markets. Then, you can use a recipe to recreate the dessert in your own kitchen.

If you aren't able to find the saskatoon berries anywhere, other berries can make for some delicious dessert pierogi, too. Cherries and blueberries are both pretty common pie flavors that could make for a tasty substitution. Apple pie filling will further deviate from the berry taste but could still be delicious. And since the saskatoon berries were a substitution for prunes in the first place, it seems like it's in the spirit of the food to embrace an alternative.

If you want to simplify things, you could even grab a can of your favorite flavor of pie filling and scoop some into the pierogi dough. Just make sure the pierogi dough is fully sealed before boiling or pan-frying your sweet dumplings. While potato and cheese pierogi might be the norm, a berry filling can be a sweet, delicious take on the food.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.