Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Dessert Soup

If you had foresight enough back in November to stash away a bag or two of cranberries in your freezer, you have most of what you need to make this light Valentine's Day dessert.  Called kissel, this tart and tasty Russian fruit soup is the loveliest shade of red.
See?
 
Along with the cranberries, it also helps if you have one of these:
Not sure what the official name of this is.  A food mill?  It's the same perforated cone-like thing I use when making tomato juice from fresh tomatoes, or grape juice from grapes.  Very low-tech, it whooshes out the unwanted skins as you circle the wooden mallet round and round.  Great fun.  Kahuna's grandma gave me this one years ago, after teaching me to make tomato juice.

If you've got your cranberries and your perforated upside down dunce cap, proceed.  And if you don't?  Type "kissel dessert" into your handy dandy search engine and I'm pretty sure you'll find instructions for making this from other kinds of fruit. 

The recipe, by the way, comes from A Christmas Companion by Maria Robbins and Jim Charlton, who suggest its red color makes it "particularly appealing at Christmastime."  And also for Valentine's Day, I might add.

CRANBERRY KISSEL
1 lb. cranberries
2 c. water
1 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. orange juice
Heavy cream for swirling, if desired

In large saucepan, heat the cranberries, water, and sugar.  Bring to a gentle boil and, stirring occasionally, cook for about 15 minutes, until cranberries pop.  Puree through a food mill.  Return puree to the pan.  In small bowl, mix together cornstarch and orange juice; add to puree and cook over low heat, stirring, for about five minutes, until it gets thick.  Serve chilled with heavy cream swirled throughout.  Serves 6 - 8.

What are you serving for Valentine's Day?

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4 Comments:

Blogger Blond Duck said...

Pancakes!

February 11, 2014 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Farm Girl said...

It looks yummy. I think red things just taste better don't you? I stash cranberries away like a squirrel does nuts, once they start arriving. That and blueberries. I still have a bunch in my freezer. My favorite snack right now is plain yogurt and frozen blueberries and cranberry sauce. I know writing it out it sounds gross But with a little red is good.
I hope you got some rain out of this last storm. We just got clouds.

February 12, 2014 at 6:59 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Farm Girl, your yogurt snack sounds delicious. I have been on a blueberry kick myself, but never thought to pair them with cranberry sauce. On the rain front, we got a little (maybe 2 inches) but of course are hoping for more. Hope you get some rain, too.

February 12, 2014 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

I'm a stasher of cranberries and blueberries too, Lynn. I just can't help it. They both freeze so well.

I never knew what the "official" name was of those upside down dunce caps, now my "official" name for the thing, lol...I do happen to have one though because not only do I stash, I sale too. (garage sale that is:)

I've never actually enjoyed Kissel but I did spy it the other day in one of my Russian cookbooks. I may just give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration, Lynn. Happy Valentine's Day if I don't "see" you before then:) We're having chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate! (it's been a chocolate craving kind of Winter:)

February 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM  

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