20 Jun

Saffron Milkcaps

In the Autumn I amassed a fair amount of saffron milkcaps, Lactarius deliciosus, and decided to try preserving some of these to last until a rainy day. Following sound advice I simply removed the stipes and layered them with salt until covered.  I was surprised by the amount of water that came out of such a firm fungi and I had to pour excess off every few hours.  Once the moisture had been drawn out (48 hrs) I layered with the salt in sterilized jars, covering over with the mushroom water, sealed and popped away.

Taking inspiration from this method of preservation which is popular in  Eastern Europe I decided to make Pierogi – Polish dumplings.  A number of my students frequently tell me how wonderful these are and after a short discussion on fillings apparently it would be quite acceptable to use my safrons for this endeavour.



  • 125g plain white flour

  • 50ml boiling water

  • 25ml cold water

  • 1/2 teaspoon oil

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 6 medium sized salt cured saffron milkcaps

  • 2 tablespoons sauerkraut


  1. Soak the mushrooms in fresh water

  2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl (preferably glass)

  3. Add the boiling water and stir with a knife.  The dough will start to clump slightly – crumble these

  4. Cover the bowl and set aside for 5 minutes

  5. Add in the cold water and the oil.  Mix with the knife, pressing against the side of the bowl until a dough begins to form

  6. Knead for 5-10 minutes until you have a smooth dough with no cracks or lumps

  7. Wrap in cling-film and set aside to rest

  8. Dice the mushrooms into very small dice (3mm) and gently fry with oil and the sauerkraut.  Set aside to cool

  9. Roll out until very thin (2mm) on a lightly floured surface

  10. Cut out using a pastry cutter or the bottom of a mug

  11. Spoon a small amount of filling into the centre of each pierogi

  12. Brush round with oil

  13. Fold in half and seal, press down using a fork

  14. Place in a container and freeze for 24 hours

  15. Cook in boiling water for 6 minutes

  16. Finish by frying on a medium heat until crisp on both sides

Note – any filling can actually be used depending on your preference.  Worth making up a big batch for easy eating in the week!

* The email will not be published on the website.