Russian Monday: "Kissel" - Fruit Drink, Dessert



Hello everyone! Today we are learning how to make kissel.

Word “kissel” (pronounced in Russian as “kee-sel”) originates from Russian verb “kvasit”, which means “make sour”. Kissel has been integral part of traditional Russian cuisine for a long time. Before 19th century kissels were usually grain-based and thick. Popular oatmeal kissel while cooled off has been so thick that it could be cut with knife! Such thick kissels were usually served with hemp or sunflower oil.

It is usually prepared from fresh berries, juices, syrup and milk with addition of some starch. Density of kissel (thick, medium or very liquid) depends on the amount of added starch. For thick kissel you can use 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup or 60 grams) of starch per pint, 2 tablespoons (35 grams) would get you medium consistency and 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 grams) would keep your kissel very liquid.

Thick or medium kissels can be served as a separate dessert while liquid ones are often used as sauces for various sweet casseroles and grits-based dishes. Once cooked, thick kissel is poured out into pans and cooled off. It can be served with syrup, jam, milk or cream.

Kissel melangery.com

Type of starch used depends on what your kissel is based on. If you use berries, utilize potato starch, if you make milk based kissel, use corn starch. Initially, starch is diluted in cold water and then poured into boiling syrup. You start the process with making juice, then boiling it to the syrup consistency, adding diluted starch, then juice and, finally, cooling off. To avoid formation of membrane on the surface of your kissel add a bit of sugar into it.

This concludes our recipe for today. Happy kissel making!

Kissel 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted Sour Cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5-6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch dissolved in ¾ cup cold water(or red wine)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Wash the berries and place them in a non-oxidizing pan. Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer for about 5-6 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth, then add sugar and mix well. Heat to boil, constantly removing the foam  from surface. To preserve the bright color and enhance the taste add lemon juice.

Stir-in the potato starch dissolved in the cold water, and vanilla, cook stirring until just starts to boil. Cover the top with some sanding or just coarse sugar to prevent from film forming.

In the bottom of the nice glasses or bowls put a few cherries or raspberries and pour the kissel on top. Serve it warm or chilled.


Kissel 3

6 comments:

Julia said...
July 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM  

Love kissel!!! I have not drank it for over 10 years, unbelievable! Thanks for reminding me that such wonderful drink exists. Pinned!

Yelena Strokin said...
July 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM  

Thank you, Julia! I cooked it first time in many years myself-)) Very refreshing drink/dessert.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
July 22, 2013 at 1:30 PM  

That looks delightful! So summery and refreshing. And what a gorgeous color your Kissel has...

cheers,

Rosa

Rebecca Subbiah said...
July 22, 2013 at 6:14 PM  

great drink and love the use of cherries

Elen Smirnova said...
July 23, 2013 at 9:37 AM  

One of my favourites!!

Lynn said...
February 2, 2014 at 6:33 PM  

Looks delicious! I have just made my first kissel ever, with cranberries. It is still chilling but I can't wait to try it. Your kissel looks gorgeous :)

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