I learned how to make kissel from a landlady whose family had lived in Russia.


  • 1 lb / 455 g stoned cherries
  • 2 pt / 1.15 l water
  • 5 oz / 140 g sugar
  • 2 oz / 60 g potato flour


Simmer the cherries in the 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. Mix the flour with 2 tablespoons 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, jelly-like texture as it cools. The mixture should not be allowed to boil for more than 1–2 minutes for its final cooking or the starches will break down and the mixture will remain liquid.


Replace the cherries with redcurrants and other soft fruit. In winter, you could try using cranberries.