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Plachinda - Pumpkin Turnovers by ArielManx Plachinda - Pumpkin Turnovers by ArielManx
It’s been a while since I posted one of my recipes, but this one is good enough to make up for the wait!

Plachinda (or plachinta, blachinda, blachinta, depends who says it!) are essentially pumpkin turnovers. Pumpkin hand-pies, if you will. They’re another treat from my Germans-from-Russia heritage and I have very fond memories of my mom and grandma making these.

Plachinda can be sweet or savory, depending on your personal preference. Me, I prefer sweet, and only know how to make them the sweet way, as that’s how my family made them. A funny story in my family is that of one of the first times my aunt went to her in-laws’ house for a meal. Her mother-in-law had made plachinda, and my aunt was super excited, because it was one of her favorite treats. She took a bite – and was horrified to get a mouthful of onion and black pepper in with the pumpkin! :rofl:

This is my Grandma Schaeffer’s recipe, cut down to a smaller batch (she had a hard-working farmer husband and five kids to feed, so she made lots!).

First, make your dough.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening or cold butter (both work equally well)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (if using shortening or unsalted butter)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar

Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt (if used), in a large bowl. Cut in the butter/shortening until it looks mealy and is well incorporated (like when making pie dough). Add the egg, water, vanilla, and lemon juice/vinegar and stir to form a dough. It’s going to be all crumbly and messy at this point, that’s OK! Using your hands, pack the dough together into a ball, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator to chill for about an hour.

Now, make your filling.

2 cups pumpkin (either from a pumpkin you’ve roasted, or canned – just make sure you get plain pumpkin puree, not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil or butter
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
(or, you can use 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in place of all the spices – it’s the same thing!)

Put everything in a saucepan and bring to a bubble slowly over low to medium heat. If you cook it too fast, the egg will curdle – same thing will happen if you forget the egg and add it in later to the already hot pumpkin, and then you have to pick out little pieces of cooked egg white (not fun, trust me – but if it does happen it’ll still be fine, it just won’t look as nice). Let it bubble a couple minutes, stirring constantly, then take off the heat and let cool until it’s not steaming anymore.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper (or lightly grease them).

Sprinkle your table or countertop with flour and roll out your dough. You want to get it about the same thickness you’d use for pie crust, but try to roll it into a square-ish shape instead of a circle. Cut the dough as if you were making a tic-tac-toe board to get nine squares of dough. Drop a spoonful of filling into the center of each square (a little more on the bigger squares, a little less on the smaller ones), then fold the dough over the filling and pinch all the edges shut. If the dough sticks to the counter, slide under it with a metal turner/spatula thingie to loosen it up. Don’t fret if your plachinda don’t look perfect – as you can see, mine sure don’t! The world won’t end if a little filling spills out.

Transfer the plachinda to the cookie sheets and cut a little slit in the top of each one to let out steam. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown (if you want to be extra sure they’re done, and especially that the eggy filling is cooked through, stick an instant-read meat thermometer in the steam vent – they’re done at 160 degrees F). Transfer to a cooling rack or spread-out newspapers to cool. Resist the urge to eat one immediately, as you will burn your little tongue and the roof of your mouth on the hot filling! :giggle:
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:iconrosie-the-rabbit:
Rosie-the-rabbit Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2009
brilliant thanks for sharing! i might have a go at making these, they sound scrumptious! :D
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:iconarielmanx:
ArielManx Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2009
I hope you enjoy them if you make them! :D
Reply
:iconrosie-the-rabbit:
Rosie-the-rabbit Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2009
am gonna have a go tomorrow (sunday) im sure they will be enjoyable indeed (give or take a few dodgy cooking skills on my part ;) )
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:iconamongthefirst:
AmongTheFirst Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
I should try this sometimes. I still have my pumpkin and I need to make it into pie this week
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:iconarielmanx:
ArielManx Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2009
Let me know how you like them. :D I'm going to make a double batch for our game club this weekend.
Reply
:iconmori-hime:
Mori-hime Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2009
These sound awesome! I totally want to make them for Thanksgiving!
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:iconarielmanx:
ArielManx Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2009
They are awesome! :D I hope you enjoy them if you make some!
Reply
:icontaralynnjane:
taralynnjane Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
uh yum!
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:iconarielmanx:
ArielManx Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2009
:D
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:iconlyingbastard:
Lyingbastard Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2009
They look delicious.
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