Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Estonian recipes: thick fruit soup (dried fruit kissel)
One non-Christmas recipe for a change :) Paks puuviljakissell or thick (dried) fruit soup/kissel is an old Estonian favourite (I've previously blogged about it's more modest cousin, raisin fruit soup). The kissel on the photo was made with dried apricots, prunes, pears and raisins, but you can use whatever fruit you have in hand. It's cheap, tasty and easy to make.
You can also serve it in umpteen ways. Traditional way to serve fruit soup is with milk (or perhaps light cream), but you can top a thick fruit soup with whipped cream or even good-quality vanilla ice cream, which would make it actually a rather festive pudding, especially if served from pretty dessert bowls.
Dried fruit soup
500 g dried fruit and berries of your choice - apples, pears, prunes, seedless raisins, apricots etc.
1.5 litre of water
a cinnamon stick
85 g caster sugar (100 ml)
juice of half a lemon
2 to 3 Tbsp potato starch or cornflour + some cold water (see note below)
Rinse the dried fruit under cold water, then cut into smaller pieces, if necessary.
Place into a large saucepan with water and let them soak for 2-3 hours.
Add the cinnamon stick and cloves. Bring the "soup" into a boil, reduce heat and simmer slowly until the fruit is softened. Near the end of the cooking, add the sugar and season to taste with lemon juice.
To thicken the soup, make a slurry with starch and some cold water. Drizzle the starch slurry into the fruit soup, stirring carefully. If you are using potato starch, then re-heat the fruit soup and remove from the heat as soon as the first bubbles appear on surface - do NOT boil. If you're using cornflour, then you need to cook the soup for a few minutes for it to thicken.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and sprinkle some sugar on top - this prevents the "skin" from forming on top.