The issues were, basically:
# Filo, puff or doughy?
# SR or plain?
# Butter, egg or something else?
My attempt the other day was an accidental success, bear with me:
[Excuse the creme fraiche tub, s’il vous plaît, most remiss. In the bottle is caramelised onion and it was perfect with the pierogi. That wine, by the way, is cooking wine, i.e. it is to be sipped during the cooking.]
All right, here’s what I did wrong – I used SR and I can feel pastry chefs bristling even from here.
Your humble blogger has other issues too, e.g. dental and so the product must be soft, plus I’m sick of flaky puff all over the bench and floor, plus filo is a pain to keep moist, plus it unevenly bakes and I couldn’t be bothered coating the ends or oiling the sheets.
So really, the choices come down to plain or SR. Plain, even with eggs and butter, is still stodgy for mine, plus for such small items as Polish pierogi, they’re not going to rise all that much.
Now I understand some of you cannot stand bicarb and that’s fine, I can’t take it all the time either but in this case … well.
I did the pastry by blending melted butter and warm water [I see some recipes say cold water and cold butter] and the result was a ‘biscuity’ texture which was clearly not going to be bouillon-suitable and the meat had to be spicy and ‘semi-savoury’ only, if there is such a thing.
The big surprise was next day when I took out the half I’d kept cold overnight and the texture was both crumbly and holding together, plus the mince had softened further but was still fresh-ish.
I’m going to try two small apple pies – one with the SR/butter and the other with plain/egg/butter, just to see. If you’re an expert on pastry, please do tell.