Perishky

Our extended family is still blessed to have someone who regularly supplies us with these tasty little “pies-in-a-pocket.” I consider it another one of those “labor of love” recipes, and have gladly pretended that I could never make them, but I’m beginning to think that one day I may change my mind, because they will remind me of the most beautiful woman in my life . . . my Mom. The funny thing is that she will never just make enough for the family gathering, but enough so that grandkids can take home “the leftovers.” One thing she keeps saying is, not to put them in a sealed container (except for in the freezer), because they will get soft.
Since I had my hands free for most of the observation, I was able to get lots of pictures, and now have a hard time choosing what is necessary for explanatory’s sake and what is merely “ornamental.” If this gets too long to print, be sure to "unclick" images for printing.


Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup shortening or lard 
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Filling: 

  • 6 cups blueberries or finely chopped fruit such as plums, apples and/or rhubarb.
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar mixed with ¼ c flour and ¼ c cornstarch if using apples ( 1/4 cup more flour or cornstarch if using berries or very juice fruit)

Method:

  1. Cut lard and butter into dry ingredients with pastry blender.
  2. Add combined beaten egg and liquids. Stir with fork until everything is moist. If dough is too moist, sprinkle with a handful of flour and knead gently (or turn, up and over to mix in dry crumbs from the bottom, using a firm spatula) until dough holds together nicely.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or a few hours.
  4. Divide dough in half and roll out to a square or rectangle (approx 16” x 16”) so that you can cut about 12 – 16 square patches.




5. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of sugar mixture in the center of each square, top with fruit and another 1 - 2 teaspoons of sugar mixture on top of fruit. Brush edges of pastry with water.




6. Fold up corners and pinch edges very well.
7. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets, not too close together.
8. Bake at 400 F about 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown and juices run out. (you can freeze the unbaked Perishky and bake later; bake frozen Perishky a little longer)




Tips: 
Use your darkest baking sheets for nice browning. 
Frozen Perishky will not open as quickly. The ones that ran out are likely the ones that I pinched,  but no worries . . . parchment paper allows for easy clean up and the Perishky will be just fine! In fact, I like seeing what kind of fruit to expect.



47 comments:

  1. i have enjoyed mnay a perishky with all kinds of fillings....even guave but never blueberry. they look just like my moms and they truly are a labour of love, something i hope to pass onto the one i love....they look lovely...thank the lovely lady that made them for the tutorial...

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  2. oh my mouth is watering Anneliese. Now if I could just slip my finger through the part that oozed out during baking. . .I wouldn't even need a whole one. Oh boy .. I'll be baking these sometime real soon. I do agree that they can't be covered unless in the freezer. I'll have to compare the dough recipe with mine. . I love seeing all the different variations of each Mennonite treat.

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  3. Oh these are so good..I like them best made with bing cherries but any fruit will do!
    I'm with you Lovella..wish I could run my finger through the oozed out part AND then I want a whole perishky!
    I also will compare my recipe with this one. Thanks Anneliese for sharing yours.

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  4. Yum those look fabulous. Our family makes piroshky, too. My favorites are potato or hamburger or cabbage filled...

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  5. Oh, when some of you mentioned comparing the recipe to yours, my memory was triggered (why now?) - we actually used 1/2 cup margarine and 1/2 cup shortening and I will change that.

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  6. These are one of my favorite food groups ever! :-)
    I don't make them, but I'm always happy when someone else does (especially cherry ones)
    Vange

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  7. Oh they look so yummy! My mom-in-law used to keep my freezer stocked with perishky...how I miss those days. Maybe I'll just give your recipe a whirl sometime soon!

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  8. Thanks Anneliese, They look great and this will be one recipe I will use with all the different fruits that are coming this season.
    When I see your mom's hands I see you in them. Great gift.
    Alvina

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  9. Yum yum...I was seriously looking to make these this weekend....wonderful. Thanks for posting. They look so delicious....and funny, I remember the tupperware 'square' container NEVER being closed all the way either....grin. Little did I know there was a scientific reason.

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  10. Mmmm! this looks fantastic and makes me miss my Oma! Perhaps i'll have to venture out and try making some for myself!

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  11. My mom sent me the link to get me here this morning. I'm so excited! We have an aunt who makes these perfectly. She lives in British Columbia, Canada and we live in the states. When my brother, who is a pilot, goes to Canada he overnights a care package filled with these for me. We've dubbed them, "Tender Pieces of Heaven", affectionately. Because our aunt has this as her specialty, and only her, we've not wanted to step on her toes by asking her to teach us how they're made. My concern has been that when she passes on, the recipe and techniques for her thin flaky pastries would die, too. Thank you for the tutorial and for my little thrill here this morning!

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  12. I didn't mean flaky. But tender, for sure!

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  13. my first time on your blog... found you by way of Lovella....

    this is a very well done recipe..pics are great ... we can see exactly what you are talking about. Never can we have too much info in my mind... especially where recipes are concerned.

    I've never heard of perishky... almost doesn't sound real..but more of a nickname.. telling us they are perishable... but certainly will have to give them a try...thanks for the recipe... I'll be back to check out the rest of the blog later.... with a cuppa tea and a biscotti...

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  14. Way to go! Let me know if you are for hire!! That would be so awesome...
    I'd pay you well.
    Perishky are so good, but the sure take time and patience.

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  15. I'm going to try these with Saskatoon berries, since blueberries are more dear here.

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  16. I am making these right now -- the first batch is about to come out of the oven and do they ever smell good... :)

    Denise

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  17. Hey Denise,
    I just thought I'd check back and was surprised to see your comment! I'm so proud of you trying these! It makes me happy that I didn't post for nothing, hopefully. =)

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  18. I'm excited to make these too! My husband's family is Mennonite and he asked me to learn how to make these because he loves them so much!

    I have a question...can you use butter instead of shortening or margarine?

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  19. This is the last thing I ate before leaving Canada in 2007 and again in 2008. Mom's blueberry pie is my absolute favourite treat and these are mini blueberry pies baked by Oma, so they are amazing!

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  20. Julianne, I asked my Mom about the butter and she said that she's never tried it with just butter. Her feeling is that it may be ok as long as you cut it in while it's cold . . . the pastry should have a crumbly texture when you add the liquids. We're curious to know too. Most pie-like pastries are done with shortening because it gives them more of a flaky texture. All the best!

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  21. I just started looking at Mennonite recipes on the web and I have to admit I didn't even know you could make Perishky with fruit. The first recipe I came across I thought the person was crazy. I have only ever had Meat Perishky which are possibly my favorite Mennonite tradition. These look delicious and I'll have to give them a try.

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  22. I've attempted to make my own Perishky for a while now, all unsucessful, and leaving me frustrated. This recipe worked! And they taste aaaalmost like my mother in law's (they're still the BEST).
    I made them with jam this morning (it was sitting in my freezer for a couple of years already), and they tasted great. I just omitted the sugar and just used an equal ratio of flour and corstarch.

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  23. These looks delicious, never had perishky before, and now I want to try my hand on some, I wish I can grab one of yours to taste...mouth watering...
    thanks for sharing a tasty treat.

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  24. I used your recipe two nights ago and took the peach blackberry perishky with me to school. My classmates loved it! Thank you for such a delicious recipe.
    I also made a gluten free version substituting the wheat flour for a gluten free flour (Namaste's perfect flour blend)and they tasted amazing! The crust tasted like it was made of wheat! The only problem was that the dough was too soft to form the wonderful pockets so I just used muffin tins to help them hold their shape- still no one complained about that. Thank you very much for sharing!

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  25. YUMMMMMMMMMYYYY, my girls tell me to tell you all that they love it!!!

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  26. Anneliese, I finally tried this recipe. I kept meaning to get to it, once the rhubarb was ready. It was a hit! My mom made perishky when I was a kid, but for some reason, quit, as I got older. I really wanted my kids to experience these. That dough is so soft and I love that you can make it ahead. I made the dough in late afternoon, put it in the fridge and then around 9pm I started to make the perishky so my teenagers and their friends could have a late night snack. Thanks again!

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  27. Mmm...
    They look SO good!
    I'm going to bake some tonight with my Tante Anne. Thanks!

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  28. You don't know how excited I am to find you!! My grandmother made all kinds; but the hands down favourite was/is saskatoons! Sadly she's been gone for quite awhile; but I am looking forward to making these for my dad for Father's day.

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  29. Can you use frozen blueberries? Evie Loewen Taetz

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  30. These look so delicious. Can you use frozen blueberries?

    Evie (Loewen) Taetz

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  31. Hi Anneliese ... I made this last night. First shot at Perishky although I've enjoyed many of them over the years as my late grandmother made them so well. Would you suggest how you can store them if not in a sealed container? Thanks again!

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  32. Evie ... sorry to be late here.. yes, you can use frozen blueberries. Leave in freezer for as long as possible so they do not thaw out while you are rolling out etc.

    Anonymous ... about storing them. If you are not freezing them, just cover them with a tea towel or wax paper. Sealing them softens them and you may not mind that. We like them a bit crispy.

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  33. Perfect! Thank you.

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  34. Just thought I'd chime in about the cooking time: 20 minutes at 400 was not long enough to cook my perishky. I reverted to my usual pastry method, which is: cook at 450 for 20 min, then at 350 for another 15 min. This helps make the dough a bit more browned.

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  35. Thank you for your recipes and keeping the tradition alive. My grandmother always made these. She died in 2002. My dad always said he hadn't had perishky since she became ill in 1999. I made them for him last Christmas. He said they tasted exactly the same! I will now make them for him every year. I've never seen him so happy. They are a labour of love, but I just imagine the smile they put on his face. Thank you.

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  36. Hello, I just got your cookbook and I'm really enjoying it! I have a kumquat tree so I am wondering if Perishky can be made with citrus? I am a southern CA girl from Mennonite descent. Thank you for helping me explore this aspect of my heritage. =)

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    Replies
    1. Hello Lana, happy to hear you are enjoying the cookbook! Perishky can be made with pretty well any fruit, such as apples, nectarines, peaches, plums. You can also do a combination of fruit. If they are on the juicy side, such as berries, you simply add more thickening. I have never heard of putting a citrus fruit in Perishky. I think it would be too much juice with not much filling left. Those are just my thoughts.

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    2. Thanks Anneliese! That was my fear. But I may just try it anyway and see what happens. Kumquats are eaten whole, so I will puree the skin with the insides and maybe even reduce it a bit. And add more thickening as you suggested. Thank you!

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    3. Good for you for trying! You could do just half the recipe if you want. You could also do what you said and then mix in some apple. Let me know how it worked.

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    4. Lana, may I suggest that you cook the kumquats into a jam or marmalade and then add it into the perishky. That may give it the thickness that it needs and then adding it with apples like Anneliese suggested would make a really good tasting perishky. Let us know who that worked out for you if you try it.

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  37. The recipe gives portions of corn starch and flour for filling if using apples (1/4 C flour, 1/4 cup cornstarch). But for berries the recipe states "3/4 C thickening mix (flour & cornstarch)". What is the ratio of flour and cornstarch? Is is still half and half? I am using (frozen) sour cherries and know they will need more thickening. They will be a lot of work to make and I want the correct ratio.

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    1. Hello,
      To answer your question, yes it would still be a half and half ratio even if using 3/4 cup flour/cornstarch mix. What I have found is that for most fruit the 2 cups sugar/1/2 cup thickening is slightly on the generous side, however for sour cherries it may be okay.
      Not to confuse you more, I did an updated post on making Perishky on my personal blog http://foreverythingaseason.blogspot.ca/2015/08/moms-perishky-real-recipe.html
      Since making them myself, I have changed the recipe and procedure slightly. It is a very good idea to freeze them and bake them from frozen state. Also, dark cookie sheets are better than light colored aluminum. Use parchment paper to help with the mess of liquids oozing out... which always looks worse when you first see that happen. Let them cool and remove from sheet and you will hardly notice that juices ran out and they will look nice and rustic if they open slightly.

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    2. Thank you so much, Anneliese. This will be my first time making Perishky and I will make the changes you suggest. My grandmother would have used lard, too - she rendered it herself. And I like the idea of freezing them to bake later. I make many pies when the fruit is in season, and bake them from frozen in the winter - SO good!
      Vivien G.

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  38. Thank you for the recipe! I'm from Brazil, and I was looking for this recipe for a long time! The name I heard was different, like presti or preschi, because here the mennonite came from Russia and speak dialects... I made the recipe with strawberries and blueberries: it was awsome! i'll try with rhubarb!

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  39. how long are they good in the freezer?

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    Replies
    1. They keep at least three/four months, well stored in several plastic bags. Longer, even. It's not like they can go bad. I freeze them unbaked and they taste like they are just made when you bake them from frozen.

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