Like everyone else, my mind has been preoccupied with the war in Ukraine. Although I’ve never been to Ukraine, there is a considerable diaspora in Canada; I fell in love with Ukrainian cuisine including cabbage rolls and perogies while living in Saskatoon. To me, perogies are quintessential comfort food and they remind me of family, friends, and home. As such, I though what better way to celebrate Ukrainian identity in solidarity than to make a new recipe! Join me as I recount my attempt at making Ukrainian potato pie (Yavorivs’kiy Pie).
In addition to potato, the pie filling contains buckwheat, which I had never cooked before. It’s a traditional pie served during religious holidays from the western region of Ukraine. Spoiler alert: this pie is delicious! If you‘re looking to try a new recipe for Easter celebration I would encourage you to try it! The recipe I used is from Anna Voloshyna and full credit goes to Anna for the creation of this recipe.
You can serve the Yavorivs’kiy with sour cream but I opted for gravy with broccoli. It was sort of like having a roast dinner with a pretzel Yorkshire pudding, but the buckwheat gives the pie a really interesting flavour! Moreover, the caraway seeds are optional but if you like rye bread then I’m sure you’ll love them on this pie.
Ukrainian Potato Pie
- 1 cup milk lukewarm (I used oat milk)
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 egg yolks whisked
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg beaten
- sesame seeds and caraway seeds
- ¾ cup buckwheat
- 2 large potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 onion or shallot thinly sliced
- ¼ cup chives diced
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- The first step is to make the dough. This dough is reminiscent of a pretzel dough mixed with a water crust pastry. It's chewy and also slightly sweet. In a large bowl, mix the yeast with the sugar and milk and leave it until it foams (10 minutes).
- Then, add your egg yolks, oil and then dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- The dough should then be kneaded on a floured surface for roughly 10 minutes, to build the gluten. Rest the dough in a covered bowl for 2-3 hours, or doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, you make your filling. First, peel and chop two large potatoes and boil them until soft. Mash the potatoes with 1 tbsp. butter and put to one side.
- In a small sauce pan, bring your buckwheat to boil in 1 1/2 cups water. Once at a boil, reduce the heat to minimum and cover; simmer for 12 minutes.
- In a frying pan, add 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp. oil and sliced shallot (or onion). Cook the shallot until crispy.
- In a large bowl, mix together the potato, buckwheat, and crispy onions. Fold in 1/4 cup chopped chives and season with salt and pepper.
- Once your dough has risen, gently punch it down. Roll out the dough in a large circle on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.
- Place your cooled filling in the centre of your dough and then fold up the edges. You should have a fat disc around 8 inches in diameter.
- Oil a springform pan and put your dough parcel in the pan seam-side down. Brush the top of the pie with an egg wash and sprinkle with sesame and caraway seeds. Poke a few holes for steam.
- Bake your pie in a 180°C oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience making Ukrainian potato pie. If you end up trying this recipe or another Ukrainian recipe, let me know! For those who are able, I encourage you to donate to the humanitarian effort for Ukraine. In fact, for every comment or like I get on this post until the end of March I’ll donate an additional £1.