04 January 2013

Gluten Free Piroshki

Piroshki with mushroom and rice filling
What are piroshki?  They are a baked pastry  that have a variety of fillings from jam (sweet version) to cabbage (savory version).  In Russian cuisine, they are a traditional accompaniment to soup.  When I was studying Russian in St. Petersburg (many, many years ago when the city was still called Leningrad) I used to have piroshki for breakfast in the university dining hall.  They had sweet ones filled with jam (my favorites), egg and rice filled ones,  and the cabbage filled ones.  I alternated between the egg and rice and jam filled.   The little old ladies who worked in the dining hall in Leningrad tried to get me to take the cabbage filled piroshki, but I wasn't having any of that.  A few years later I discovered this mushroom and rice filling recipe in The Best of Bon Appetit, published in 1979.  The full pastry recipe is quite large and the book has three different filling recipes.  I have tried two of the three, the mushroom and rice, and the smoked salmon and kasha.  There is also a cabbage filling that I have not yet tried.  I seem to steer clear of cabbage-filled piroshki, but I bet they are good too, just not for breakfast! 

 I used to make piroshki as an appetizer at parties but haven't tried making them since going gluten free.  I figured if I could make pirogi gluten free than why not piroshki, right?  Right.  I cut the pastry recipe down to one third and substituted Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour for the flour, but left the recipe alone after that.  The dough is very short and a bit difficult to work with, but they still turned out great.  I made them all the day before my dinner party and reheated them in a convection/microwave oven at 350° for ten minutes before serving.  Here is the recipe:

Gluten Free Piroshki
(makes 20-24)
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese
2 T whipping cream
1 1/4 cups Jules GF All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Mushroom and Rice Filling
2 T butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 T chopped parsley

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl using a stand mixer.  Beat in cream, then mix in flour and salt.  Form into a ball, place in a zip loc bag, flatten into a disc and seal.  Chill.

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat .  Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft but not brown.  Stir in mushrooms and add salt and pepper to taste.  Increase heat to high and cook until all moisture is absorbed. Remove from heat, add rice and parsley.

Preheat oven to 400°
Grease baking sheet or line with silpat.  Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Using a 3" round biscuit or cookie cutter, stamp out rounds.  Place 1 tsp of filling in the center of each round and brush edges with beaten egg.  Fold in half and pinch edges to close.  Place on baking sheet and make small slash with knife in each to allow steam to escape.  Brush again with egg.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.  Serve warm.

—adapted from The Best of Bon Appetit, The Knapp Press, New York, 1979.  pp. 16-17.


Karen, herself