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Making Derelye

I don’t know what I expected when I set out to make these, but let me tell you, whatever my expectations were, they were blown out of the water entirely. And this from a guy who’s eaten more than his share of pierogi and ravioli over the years. Derelye really are unlike either of their close cousins, at least as an eating experience. The secret is the bread crumb sauce. Whoever thought that up, I hope, was given the Order of the Iron Toque, or whatever commendation the Austro-Hungarian crown gave to recognize meritorious culinary service to the Empire. The crunchy texture and buttery flavor of the sauce, which contrasts perfectly with the sweetness and leanness of the dumpling itself, is truly inspired. Rush to make these. I’m not kidding.

Begin by assembling your ingredients. Combine the egg, yolk, flour, salt and water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle.

Stir the ingredients on low until the dough comes together.

You’ll want to give the dough a few turns on a pastry board to get it a little smoother, and to get it into a ball shape. it’ll be a little knobbly. Don’t worry, it will smooth out in the rolling process. Wrap it in plastic and let it rest at room temperature for about an hour to relax it. It will be noticeably softer at that point, so much so that it will roll out quite easily. This dough can be refrigerated and held for 24 hours.

I used a pasta machine to roll my dough quite thin. I went to a setting 5, which is probably thinner than is traditional, however I’ll tell you that the filling-to-pasta ratio you get with extra thin dough is spot-on perfect. Setting 4 will give you something more along the lines of what you’d get rolling the dough with a pin, which you can also do.

Note that you need a sheet that’s about 3.5 inches wide. A pasta machine rolls dough into sheets that are about 5.5. inches wide. That’s rather inconvenient from a production standpoint, however I noticed that if I cut my mass of dough into pieces, gently rolled those pieces into logs, and fed the logs into the pasta machine, I could manipulate the dough to the width I needed. Here I can see the advantage of using a pin, which would have given me a single big sheet that I could have cut into squares. Do what suits you.

One thing about this dough that’s important to know is that scraps don’t re-roll very well. With working, the dough stiffens up, requiring another long rest of at least 40 minutes before a re-roll is possible. So try to get it right the first time. Either that or do this while a game is on and you have a six pack nearby.

Oh pizza cutter…I never run out of uses for you…

To fashion your dumplings, spoon about a teaspoon of jam into the center of a square.

Paint the “bottom” edges with egg wash…

The fold the “top” half over, but don’t seal it immediately. As with ravioli, you need to make sure you get as much air out of the pocket as possible to prevent the dumpling from popping as it boils. Place your finger close to the edge of the filling and press down lightly…

…working your way around the filling…press, press, press…

…until you’re all the way around. Now you can seal the corners and the edges.

Young Joan likes a fork crimp versus a finger crimp. I gave up arguing with the women I live with a long time ago, so was happy to oblige.

Shaped, these can be held — on towels and covered in plastic — for about four hours. When ready to serve, bring a pot of water to the boil, then boil them in batches (this batch is a little small) for 2-5 minutes depending on how thick your dough is. When they start rising to the surface of the water, they are close to ready. Another 30 seconds or so is about perfect.

Carefully remove them to a towel-lined rack. A cloth towel is better than paper (which imprints a texture on bottom of the dumplings) but we had no clean towels handy.

To finish, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the bread crumbs. Here we made a small batch, using less than the full recipe.

Toast the crumbs in the butter until they’re golden brown. remove the pan from the heat.

Add the warm dumplings to the pan in batches, turning them in the crumbs until they’re coated with the butter sauce.

Serve and eat immediately while the derelye are still warm and the crumbs are still crunchy.

Nothing to complain about here:

Young Joan suggested a non-traditional filling of fig butter. A very, very good call.

I’ll be making these again. And soon.

JOAN SAYS: I liked the texture a lot too. I also like that they’re easy to make in different flavors and shapes. I’d like to make more different kinds. Circles would be fun, and I’d like to try putting real fruit inside, like pie filling. I would also like to try making savory versions, which would make them more like regular ravioli I guess, but the crunchy bread crumbs would really make them different. I think we’ll do that next!

4 thoughts on “Making Derelye”

  1. Every time you post I am so happy that you’re back online! Joan is an excellent new addition to the site.

    1. Thank you, Martina! Joan is a little shy so far, but I expect that will change over time. It’s nice for me having her around.



  2. Are you familiar with St. Joseph’s Day pasta? It’s pasta with a toasted butter breadcrumb sauce. This seems like the dessert version!

    1. Hey Melanie!

      Yes I thought of that dish while I was making these, and decided I’ve probably never made it right. It’s been decades probably, but I distantly remember using packaged bread crumbs, and the effect was like spaghetti mixed with sand. Obviously I had no idea what I was doing. Fried up in butter, real bread crumbs are a whole different experience.

      I shall give it another try! Thanks for a great comment!


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