Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kissel aka Cranberry Fruit Soup



Kissel ('kissell' in Estonian) is a sweet soup (dessert soup or fruit soup, however you call it) popular in these parts of the world. A thinner kissel (my mum makes an excellent rhubarb one - rabarbrikissell - for instance) can be drunk straight from a cup as sweet injection. A thicker kissel is served alongside many puddings - and as I'm planning to tell you about a very special Estonian pudding in a few days, I'm going to tell you about kissel first. Note, however, that it's not the first time a kissel appears here on Nami-nami, oh no. Last September I told you about a curd cheese and apple souffle, which was also served in a bright puddle of fruit soup, too.

I like my kissel a bit on the sour side, so I tend to use redcurrant juice, cranberries, rhubarb or lingonberries as a starting base. I found some local cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccus, which are tiny compared to the huge US cranberries, Vaccinium macrocarpon - see photo here) in a freezer (picked by ourselves, of course), and used these. The resulting kissel had a perfect balance of acidic and sweet, plus a beautiful, beautiful colour..



Cranberry Fruit Soup
(Jõhvikakissell)
Makes 1,5 litres

500 ml (2 cups) cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1.5 Litres of water
300 ml (1¼ cups) caster sugar
100 ml potato starch
100 ml cold water

Bring water into boil in a large saucepan, add cranberries and cook for about 5 minutes, until the berries are softened.
Drain(keep the juice!), pressing the cooked cranberries through the sieve. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Add sugar, simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix the potato starch* with cold water. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the starch mixture in a thin stream into the cranberry juice, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
Place the saucepan back to the hob and heat gently, until the first bubbles appear.
Remove from the heat, and pour immediately into small bowls or a jug. Sprinkle some caster sugar on top (this keeps the 'skin' from forming).
Cool before serving.

* You can also use Maizena/cornflour, but it won't give you as clear kissel. Also, if using cornflour, remember you must cook the kissel for a few minutes to start thickening.


Cranberry kissel with curd cheese. All three photos by K.

23 comments:

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

What a fantastic colour! I made a pear and ginger dessert soup the other day, but although it tasted wonderful, the colour was nowhere as stunning as this!

ptasia said...

Mmmm, we call it "kisiel" in Polish. I prefer the thicker version, but I've noticed that the more liquid one has made a comeback in fancy restaurants in Warsaw, served as a pudding with sour cream.

Alanna said...

"Kisseli" (in Finnish) is generally translated to 'fruit soup' in English. Your first photo - my. I haven't made this in years and year and years. And it is soo simple.

thepassionatecook said...

i am really impressed with your photographs lately and this is just stunning! i would love your mum's rhubarb kissel... mmh! but cranberry is just as good, what a delightful idea!

Evelin said...

üldsietl no ikka nii, et kui öelda kissell, siis see tähendab minu jaoks punasesõstrakisselli. kohupiima või küpsistega. the end of story:)

pilt näieb nii suvine välja:)

Lydia said...

The color of this soup is absolutely seductive! I like sour fruit dishes, too. Will have to try this one.

K & S said...

the color of this soup and your photos, just beautiful!

Yulinka said...

Kissel is very popular in Russia, too. In fact, I always thought it was a Russian dish. (From the word kisliy, meaning sour?)I've never made it myself, but you've inspired me.

Andrea said...

I just love that last photo!

Annemarie said...

I wasn't aware you had actual cranberries by you - although lingonberries are quite close. Lovely pictures.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Please tell K that the photographs are sensational. What a brilliant color that kissel is. Now if only I could try it....

Shaun said...

Pille & K. ~ The kissel is a blessing in this subtropical heat we experience in the height of an Auckland Summer. If only we had fresh cranberries and great quantities of redcurrants. I like the sound of a very tart base (often my preference, too). Thank you so much for the introduction to this multifunctional syrup - as a sauce or soup!
The photos are beautiful. Wonderful light and great use of live props.

Cinnamonda said...

We actually call it "kiisseli" here in Finland.:) Your kissel looks absolutely fabulous! I've been eyeing these huge cranberries (I guess they must be imported) at Stockmann's here, but have not yet bought any. This would be a perfect recipe to use them for. By the way, there was an article in Helsingin Sanomat today about the Silverspoon Awards & a short interview of Tõnis Siigur. In addition to the interview and some words about Stenhus the journalist wrote very highly about the quality of service in Tchaikovsky.

glamah16 said...

I want to make this this weekend with leftover frozen cranberries.But what is Potato startch in the US? Do your know?Could I use corn starch( is that corn flour?).Thanks.

joey said...

Gorgeous color! And fantastic photos! What a vibrant dessert :)

Anonymous said...

To Glamah16:

You can make your own potato scratch easily. Grate some raw potatoes with fine grate into some shallow bowl. Add cold water so that pulp is covered, stir, and let it settle - when done properly the scrath does settle at bottom of bowl, and the rest of pulp will float in water. Stir it carefully mowing the bowl, and pour out the water together with suspended pulp.

You can use scratch you got on the instant, or you spread it out on some paper and let it dry up for later use.

Gracianne said...

What a wonderful colour Pille. But I'll will wait for the pudding recipe before I try this.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Pille I first made fresh cranberry juice about 2 years ago and am now totally hooked on the fresh! This soup looks fabulous, what gorgeous color! Looking forward to the pudding.
Rhubarb sounds super good to me.

Valentina said...

Oh, what beautiful looking dish. In winter it does perks one up just to look at it. I have some of the ingredients so I might give it a go.

Lore said...

Wow such a refreshing soup! I bet everyone would crave for this during a hot summer.

Θεμις Μαντζαβινος said...

HI

It is a very nice and great post and fresh fruit juice is good for health.

NatDoc said...

I love your site! I am wondering whether you have a recipe for apple kissel. I am doing an article comparing the nutrition of typical US, Russian, and Japanese school lunches. The Russian menu I have includes a serving of apple kissel. But I don't know the ingredients or the portions size in order to analyze it.
I would be happy to post a link back to your site, too,if you can help me out.

Alina said...

Oh, love it since the kindergarten!
Asweel semolina porridge ;)