Pierogi leniwe

Pierogi leniwe – means lazy pierogi or  lazy dumplings.

I wrote about kopytka – Polish potato dumplings a good while back and these have the same shape.

Traditional recipes use twaróg – Polish curd cheese – I use my own yoghurt cheese.  I have found that you can use crumbly, white, mild, English cheeses such as: Cheshire, Lancashire or Wensleydale.

They can be served savoury or sweet – with melted butter, à la Polonaise (buttered breadcrumbs) or skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon) or sweet with a cinnamon sugar mixture.


  • 400g of twaróg (curd cheese), yoghurt cheese or  a white, crumbly cheese.
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 160 – 200g of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt


  • Mix the yolks with the cheese.
  • Add the salt
  • Weigh out the flour to give an idea of how much is needed – this will depend on the cheese and the size of the eggs.
  • Add the flour and mix first with a wooden spoon and then by hand, you might not need all the flour or you may need more.
  • Mix until you have a soft dough.
  • Divide the dough into quarters and using a floured board shape the dough and roll it with you hands until you have a long sausage about 3cm in diameter.  If the dough sticks to the board then you need to add more flour.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into pieces, make the first cut at a diagonal and make the thickness about 1 to 1.5cm. You will get a sort of oval shape.
  • Repeat this with the rest of the dough.
  • Fill a large pan with water, add some salt and bring this to the boil.
  • When the water is boiling, add the dumplings one by one, do not over fill the pan or they will stick together. I tend to do around 8 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, give them about another minute and then remove them with a slotted  or a perforated spoon and put them in a colander.
  • I have a colander sitting in an empty pan by the side of the large pan in which I am boiling the dumplings.






  • I find that the maximum from putting  them into the water to taking them out will be 3 minutes, if you cook these too long they will start to fall apart.

Here served as suggested above with  melted butter and with skwarki (crisp, fried, small squares of bacon).

Served on –

  • J & G Meakin – Topic – around 1967
  • Wedgwood – Chelsea garden – early 21st century.

Here served  à la Polonaise (buttered breadcrumbs)  in a handled dish by

Rörstrand Sweden Granada Ovenware  from the 1960s



They can be also be served  sweet with a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Orange Cake – 2

I posted a recipe for an orange cake over a year ago  – it was made with sunflower oil and yoghurt.

Whilst looking through my box of recipes I came across this recipe, which I had not made for a while.

This orange cake is made in a large loaf tin and has a sticky glaze poured over it once it is baked.


  • 225g self raising flour
  • 75g butter
  • 125 caster sugar
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 oranges – grated rind and 3 tablespoons of juice
  • *
  • 3 tablespoons of orange juice and 40g icing sugar for the glaze


  • Use a cake liner to line a large loaf tin.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Rub the butter into the flour until you have “breadcrumbs”.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Stir in the mixed peel and fine grated orange rind.
  • Mix in the egg, milk and juice.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Cool for a few minutes.
  • *
  • Place the orange juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan.
  • Mix well and whilst stirring bring it up to the boil.
  • *
  • Spoon the glaze gently over the cake surface.
  • Leave to cool completely in the tin.

Tea set – Lyndale by Royal Standard from the 1950s.

Serving plate by Burleigh Ware – Burges & Leigh Ltd – Blue Mist from the 1930s.

Custard Tart

  • Whilst trying out some old English recipes I made this custard tart.
  • It is made with a shortcrust pastry case, which is filled with an egg custard.
  • Ground nutmeg is a popular spice in England.

I think that this would be liked in Poland as it is similar to Budyń – Polish custard which is also made from milk, egg yolks and sugar.

  • Shortcrust pastry or a richer pastry such as  kruche ciasto is used.
  • The pastry case is baked blind first in a loose bottomed tart tin.
  • This can be made the day before.


  • Shortcrust pastry to line the base and sides of a 20cm diameter loose bottomed tin
  • 300ml of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 eggs – beaten
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  • Pre-heat the oven to GM6 – 200°C.
  • Roll out the pastry thinly and line the base and sides of the tin.
  • Bake blind for 15 minutes.
  • Take out the “beans” and bake for another 5 minutes.
  • Leave the pastry to become completely cold.
  • Lower the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Put the tart tin on a baking sheet (makes it easier to handle).
  • Have the beaten eggs in a large bowl.
  • In a deep saucepan, add the sugar to the milk and gently bring to the boil, stirring a few times.
  • Pour the hot milk mixture onto the beaten eggs and whisk together quickly.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the baked pastry case.
  • Grate the nutmeg liberally over the surface of the custard.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the custard is nearly set.
  • Turn of the oven and open the door slightly.
  • Leave the custard in the oven for around 15 minutes.
  • Take it out and leave to cool on a wire cake rack.
  • Leave it to cool before taking it out of the tin.
  • Serve at room temperature.


Tea plates:

  • Burleigh Ware – Burges and Leigh Ltd – Blue Mist from the 1930s
  • Aynsley – Las Palmas from the 1960s.


Pepper Soups

These are very tasty soups with a wonderful colour.


  • 2 large onions
  • 4 red/orange/yellow peppers
  • 100g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – crushed.
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Thinly slice the onions.
  • Cut all the peppers into thin strips.
  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan.
  • Gently cook the onions until they are golden.
  • Add the garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes longer.
  • Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan.
  • Add the chicken stock and tomato purée.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer gently with a lid on the pan.
  • Simmer till the peppers are very soft.
  • With a slotted spoon remove some of the cooked peppers.
  • Roughly chop/mash these.
  • Purée the rest of the soup.
  • *
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Serve with rye bread croutons.


Royal Doulton – Tapestry 1966 – 1988

Peppers & Bean Soup


  • As above and
  • 1-2 tins of white kidney beans drained.


  • Make the soup as above up until the soup has been puréed.
  • Add the beans to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for around 5 minutes (can be longer – the beans should be soft.)
  • Put the large chunks of peppers back in.
  • Gently bring back to the boil.
  • Season to taste.

Royal Stafford – Blossom Time – 1950s

Pierogi with Sweet Cheese

  • Pierogi  are  little semi-circular parcels of pasta which are made with a multitude of fillings.
  • I wrote a very large post about them over 4 years ago.
  • Today I am looking at ones with a sweet filling  – in this post – sweetened twaróg – curd cheese.
  • Pierogi with sweet fillings are made in just the same way as savoury ones.
  • Circles of dough have a filling placed on them.  The dough is folded over and pinched to make a semi circle and these are boiled in slightly salted water.
  • Once boiled, sweet pierogi are dredged with icing, granulated or caster sugar and are often served with soured cream.  They are best eaten straight away.
  • I must admit that when I was younger I did not really like sweet pierogi but now I think they are utterly delicious especially when served with soured cream.

Sweet Cheese Filling


  • 200g curd cheese/twaróg or yoghurt cheese
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk or 1 tablespoon of soured cream
  • 1- 2 drops of vanilla essence
  • Tiny pinch of salt

Method – Filling

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together.

Ingredients – Dough

  • 250g pasta flour or plain flour & 2 tablespoons of fine semolina
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tablespoon oil – sunflower or light olive
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk

Method – Dough

  • In a jug or bowl mix together the water, oil and the yolk.
  • Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the liquid from the jug and initially use a knife to mix this into the flour and then use your hands to mix the liquid and flour to get a ball of dough.


  • Turn this out onto a floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until you have a smooth ball.
  • Cover and leave to rest for about ½ an hour.
  • *
  • Cut the dough into half.
  • Prepare a large tray and cover it with a clean cotton or linen tea towel and sprinkle this with flour.
  • On a floured board roll out the dough a half at a time until you have a sheet of thinly rolled dough.
  • Cut out circles using a 7 cm diameter cutter.
  • The excess dough can be re-mixed and rolled out again.
  • Around a half tablespoon of filling is put on  each circle and then they are folded over and the edges pinched together to make a good seal.
  • You learn from experience how much filling to put in as too much will make it hard to seal them and if not properly sealed they will burst on boiling.  Do not worry if you have a few mishaps – it still happens – even with experience – it is hard to salvage one that has gone wrong – just accept that there will be a few that you do not cook.
  • Place the sealed pierogi on prepared tray until they are all made, do not let then touch each other.
  • *
  • To cook the pierogi, use a large pan of boiling water to which you have added some salt and a drizzle of oil.
  • Drop the pierogi in one by one and allow them to boil.  I usually do about 6 to 7 at a time.
  • As they cook they will float to the surface, let them boil for 2 minutes and then remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and put into a colander above a pan for a few seconds to drain and serve.
  • Continue boiling batches in the same water.
  • If you want to make all the pierogi to serve together then you need to get a large oven proof plate.
  • Keep the plate warm in a low oven.
  • As you take out the cooked pierogi add them to the plate trying not to make them touch.
  • Keep on adding more as they cook.

To Serve

Sprinkle with icing, granulated or caster sugar and some soured cream.

Served here on Royal Doulton – Carnation –  1982-1998



Date Slices

Mama often made these.  She used to buy dried dates in a block which was just the right amount and a lot cheaper than whole dates.  However  I have not seen these for sale for ages.


  • Filling
  • 225g stoned dates
  • Juice & rind of 1 lemon
  • Water – to add to juice to make 250ml
  • *
  • Crumble Mixture
  • 110g plain flour
  • 110g semolina
  • 110g butter
  • 80g granulated sugar


  • Chop the dates.
  • Add water to the lemon juice to make up to 250ml of liquid.
  • In a small saucepan gently heat the dates and the rind with the lemon liquid.
  • Stir and heat until you have a soft pulp and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Leave to go completely cold before using.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM5 – 190°C.
  • Grease a 21 x 26cm shallow baking tin.
  • Use a piece of grease-proof paper to line the two long sides and base  of the tin.
  • Mix the flour and the semolina.
  • Rub the butter into the flour mixture until you get breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the sugar.
  • Put half of the crumble mixture into base of the tin.
  • Pat down with a spoon.
  • Place spoonfuls of the date pulp evenly across the crumble mixture.
  • Spread the rest of the crumble mixture over the top.
  • Pat this down with a spoon.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Leave to cool in the tin.
  • Cut into squares or fingers to serve.

Johnson Brothers Ironstone Snowflake – Green Pear – 1960 – 1979


Do not store these in an airtight box or they will go soggy.  Use a mesh cover or a cotton or linen tea towel.


I have been looking at old North of England recipes and came across haslet – which reminds me of Polish pasztet or paté.

  • The name haslet or acelet – comes from Old French – hastilles which means entrails.
  • Traditionally it was made with a mixture of offal such as heart, kidney, liver, and sweetbreads.
  • Liver is most popular and pig’s liver most of all.
  • Oatmeal is used – one of the staples in the North of England.
  • Sage* is used –  a very popular herb in England
  • Originally the mixture would have been cover in caul – a thin lacy looking membrane of animal fat – and then cooked.
  • Nowadays this is hard to find – so butter or lard can be used in adapted recipes.
  • Haslet is usually eaten cold, in slices, often with pickles.


  • 500g pig’s liver
  • 2 onions.
  • 100g oatmeal or rolled oats blitzed
  • Lots of fresh sage
  • Salt & pepper
  • 50g butter or lard.


  • Peel the onions – leave them whole.
  • Place in a saucepan with a little water and with the lid on – gently simmer till soft.
  • Leave the onions until they are cold.
  • Mince (or use a mini-chopper) the liver and onions.
  • Add the liver mixture to the oatmeal in a bowl – mix and leave for around 10 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM7 – 220°C.
  • Line a small roasting tin with foil and grease well.
  • Chop the sage and add with salt and pepper to the mixture.
  • Place the mixture in the roasting tin and dot the top with the butter or lard.
  • Bake for around 35 minutes.


*Sage – Salvia officinalis –  szałwia – in Polish – was brought to Britain by the Romans. It was a popular cooking herb in Tudor times.

Salvia comes from the Latin word salvere, which means to heal and it is known for its antibacterial properties.

Sage is a member of the mint family and is a Mediterranean herb.


Serving dish – Blue Mist – Burleigh Ware by Burges and Leigh Ltd from the 1930s.

Zakwas – Sourdough

I have been on a long quest to find out how to make a really good sourdough bread.

I have make various rye bread versions, the easiest being a no knead version.

What I wanted was a recipe that used a sourdough starter, zakwas – in Polish,  for a wheat flour loaf that was a “classic” shape.

I wanted a loaf that looked right, tasted good and had a lovely crispy or chewy crust.

Every book or article that I read had loads of advice much of it contradictory.

I tried different methods with different degrees of success and several complete failures!  Sometimes I knew what had gone wrong sometimes I just did not know.

I was getting the taste most of the time but getting the shape without an exploding crust was more difficult.

I kept wondering how my grandmother and others in generations past had made this type of bread with ease without the aid of books, articles and videos found on the internet.

The best advice came from two sources – the book – all you knead is Bread by Jane Mason and several YouTube videos by Tomek Lach – these are in Polish.

  • I am now writing up the results of many months of baking trials.
  • Timing given in the book are often not enough – depends on many factors.
  • I have found that leaving the refreshed starter or the dough for hours longer – even overnight, works.
  • My latest loaf tastes wonderful, the crust is lovely, the shape is nearly right.
  • I am hoping that next time it will be spot on!

Sourdough starter – zakwas

  • To make this you put 50g of rye flour and 50ml of water into a large glass preserving jar on day 1 and stir, cover and leave for 24 hours.
  • On days 2, 3, and 4 you repeat this.
  • On Day 5 it is ready to use.
  • Or you can keep it in the fridge – topping up once a week with a couple of spoons of flour and water.

Day 1 – refreshing the starter


  • 3 tablespoons of starter
  • 60g of wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons of water


  • Mix the ingredients together to make a thick paste.
  • Add more water if needed.
  • Place into a bowl and cover – shower caps are good for this.
  • Leave for around 12 hours at least – often I have make this in the morning and then leave it at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.

Day 2 – making the dough


  • Mixture from day 1
  • 300g of strong wheat flour
  • 200ml of water (may need more)
  • 1¼ teaspoons of salt


  • Mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
  • More water may be needed – a wetter dough may be harder to work but better in the long run.
  • Place on a floured board.
  • Knead for 10 minutes (set a timer).
  • Try not to add much extra flour.
  • Form into a ball and place in a bowl.
  • Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  • *
  • Pretend the dough is a clock face-pull a piece of dough out at noon, stretch and fold it back.
  • Repeat going around the clock face.
  • Cover it again and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  • Repeat this resting – pulling – resting twice more.
  • That is 4 rest and 3 pulls in all.
  • *
  • To shape the dough put it gently on to just a very lightly floured surface.
  • Try to use as little extra flour as possible.
  • Stretch and fold the dough to get a round ball shape.
  • Tucking the dough into the the base of the roll with your fingers.
  • Place in a proofing basket
  • I have found it is better to place a cotton or linen floured napkin over the surface.
  • This makes it easier to turn out the risen dough.
  • I now have a special circular piece of cotton specially for this.
  • It is best to wash this without the use of fabric conditioner or perfumed detergent.
  • Place into a large plastic bag or use a shower cap to cover.
  • *
  • Allow to rise until it has grown in size by 1½ times.
  • This can take 2-3 hours or even longer – depends on the heat in the kitchen.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM 8 – 230°C.
  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with greaseproof paper and sprinkling on semolina or flour.
  • Gently tip out the risen dough onto the sheet.
  • Cut three long slashes in the top with a sharp knife.



  • Bake for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to GM6  – 200°C.
  • Bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Check the base sounds hollow.
  • Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.


Different wheat flours

You can alter the type and proportions of wheat flour and can use whole-wheat or wholemeal flour.

I am trying different versions out and have made a loaf with 60g of whole-wheat in the refreshed starter and 150g whole-wheat and 150g strong flour for the dough. It was a little heavier but tasted super.

There are many  variations to try out!


Torcik – with Bottled Blackcurrants

This torcik is a variation on two that I made previously with different fruits and bases.

When making a torcik you need time to let one layer set before starting on the next.

This torcik is composed of 3 layers

  1. Sponge cake base
  2. Sweet curd cheese with lemon jelly
  3. Drained bottled blackberries in blackcurrant jelly
  • For the base I used a kefir sponge cake which I cut into thin slices.
  • I adjusted the ingredients in the lemon/cheese mixture from previous ones and did not use egg whites.
  • I used real fruit juice Polish jellies and bottled blackcurrants.




  • 500g twaróg or yoghurt cheese (you could use full fat cream cheese)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 4 yolks
  • 1 packet of lemon jelly
  • 1 packet of  blackcurrant jelly
  • *
  • Thin slices of sponge cake – I used my kefir sponge cake
  • *
  • Blackcurrants drained from a jar of bottled blackcurrants (keep the juice)


  • Use a 25cm diameter loose bottomed or spring-form tin.
  • Lightly rub the base and sides with some butter.
  • Using thin slices of sponge cake make a layer on the base of the tin.
  • *
  • Dissolve the lemon jelly in 150ml of boiling water and leave to cool.
  • The tricky bit is having the jelly at the right temperature to use.
  • *
  • Cream together the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the egg yolks, one by one, alternating with the twaróg.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Gently mix in the cool jelly.
  • Pour the mixture over the sponge base.
  • Level the top.
  • Leave to set – best in the fridge – for at least 3 hours.
  • *
  • Mix up the blackcurrant jelly as per the instructions with 500ml of boiling water.
  • Leave the jelly to cool.
  • *
  • Arrange the drained blackcurrants over the lemon layer.
  • Gently put the blackcurrant jelly over the blackcurrants – use one spoon to pour this over the back of a second spoon.
  • Leave it to set again in the fridge – can take several hours.
  • Take great care when removing the torcik out of the tin.

Coffee set & plates – Counterpoint by Royal Doulton  from 1973 – 1987.


  • Next time I would pour several tablespoons of the juice over the sponge base.
  • Here I put a little of the the juice on the serving plate and let it soak in before serving.




Apple Soup

  • I wrote in the summer about 3 fruit soups.
  • Now that it is autumn I have made another fruit soup using Bramley apples from my garden.
  • Use sour apples to make this soup – it should not be over sweet rather it should be slightly tart.
  • Just like other soups this is served as a first course.
  • This soup should be served hot.


  • 700g cooking apples.
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons of potato flour or cornflour
  • Small cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • *
  • White bread croutons or cold cooked pasta to serve


  • Put the water and spices into a large saucepan.
  • Peel and core the apples, chop into large pieces and add them to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer with a lid on the pan till the apples are falling apart.
  • Remove the spices.
  • Add the sugar to the liquid and bring to the boil.
  • Leave to cool a little and purée the liquid.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the soup.
  • Bring to the boil, stirring gently.
  • Simmer and stir until the soup thickens.
  • Serve hot  with white bread croutons or cold cooked pasta.