I learned how to make kissel many years ago from a landlady whose family had lived in Russia. We also made it from redcurrants and other soft fruit. It is a lovely, jewel-coloured soft pudding, similar to the Scandinavian rødegroed.


  • 500 g (1 lb) stoned cherries
  • 1.15 litres (2 pints) water
  • 150 g (5 oz) sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz) potato flour


Simmer the cherries and water for 10 minutes. Crush, in the pan, with a large wooden spoon, electric hand blender or potato masher, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan, add the sugar, and heat the juice. Mix the flour with 2 tablespoons of cold water, and stir into the juice as soon as it comes to the boil. Stirring all the time, let the mixture boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and then pour into a bowl. The mixture will set to a soft, smooth jellylike texture as it cools. The mixture should not be allowed to boil for more than 1 to 2 minutes for its final cooking, or the starches will break down and the mixture remain liquid.