If you’re a fruit lover, there’s no better time of year than midsummer. That’s when you’ll find berries of all kinds, along with plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines – and, if you’re very lucky, the last harvest of sweet cherries. After you’ve had your fill of eating them in salads and out of hand, try this traditional Russian fruit pudding. Actually I’ve made it a little less than traditional by incorporating green tea, which should be steeped to regular strength. I like gyokuro in this recipe, but if you prefer a less assertive tea it works just as well with a light sencha. Kissel doesn’t keep well, so be sure it’s eaten as soon as it’s chilled, or at most within 24 hours. That really shouldn’t be a problem!
About 6 servings
1 pound stone fruits – peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, etc. – any type and in any combination
1 pound berries – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. – any type and in any combination
2/3 cup steeped green tea, cooled, plus 1/4 cup steeped green tea, chilled
2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
3 Tablespoons sugar, or to taste
Fresh mint leaves, optional
Remove the pits from the stone fruits and cut the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Place cut fruits with the berries and 2/3 cup green tea into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about five minutes, until the fruit is softened but still firm to the touch of a spoon.
In a small bowl or a cup, stir the arrowroot powder into the 1/4 cup green tea with a fork or whisk, mixing well to dissolve completely. Pour this into the fruit mixture immediately, stirring gently. Continue to simmer and stir for another two or three minutes, or until the mixture thickens, coating the spoon and becoming clear. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Pour into a serving bowl or individual dessert dishes and chill until the pudding is lightly set, about two or three hours. Garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.
- Substitute pitted cherries for some of the berries.
- If you can’t find arrowroot in your supermarket or natural food store, substitute 3 Tablespoons of either cornstarch or the more traditionally Russian potato starch. Be sure it’s dissolved completely before adding to the fruit mixture.
- After summer fruit season, prepare kissel with autumn fruits such as apples, pears, and cranberries, or even dried fruits. Be sure to adjust the amount of sugar as needed.
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.