Russian Cheese Dumplings

Oh gosh, what a week it has been! I'm completing my last two weeks at university and, in the midst of interning and pumping out huge essays, I've been busy applying for the few jobs available. I certainly apologise for the lack of love, but I come bearing utter deliciousness.

I spotted these Russian cheese dumplings in an older issue of Feast magazine and couldn't resist trying them. I must admit that I made a few variations and substituted a couple of the cheeses for types that are more commonly available. You can switch things up too, but remember to keep a mix between soft and hard cheeses as this ensures that the filling binds together. These dumplings provided me with an exciting opportunity to put my computer to sleep and get into the kitchen, but they didn't take as long as I had (kind of) hoped. I suppose that's a good thing though, because it shows that they're super easy to make… Oh, and because I have so much work to do. My only tip? Don't skimp on the sage butter sauce - it really is as good as it sounds.

What you'll need:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups plain flour
1 egg

Cheese filling:
50g feta, crumbled
100g creme fraiche
100g cheddar, finely grated
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper

Sage Butter:
2 tablespoons whole sage leaves
200g butter
Creme fraiche, to serve

What to do:
Use a food processor to whiz together all ingredients for the pastry until it forms a ball. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Combine all ingredients for the cheese filling and stir until smooth.

On a well-floured work surface, roll the pastry out to an even 3mm-thickness. Use a 9.5cm pastry cutter (or an egg ring) to cut rounds from the pastry. Place 1 tablespoon of cheese filling in the centre of each round and fold pastry in half to enclose. Press edges together firmly with a fork. (You may need to wet the edges of the pastry to make them stick.)

Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add dumplings 3 at a time. Cook for 3 minutes or until the dumplings are floating on the surface. Remove using a slotted spoon and place into a ceramic bowl covered with aluminium foil to ensure that they stay warm. Repeat this step until all dumplings are cooked.

In a frypan, heat the butter and sage until sizzling. Drizzle sage butter over dumplings, serve with creme fraiche or sour cream and enjoy!

(Serves 4)