Holiday Cranberry Kisel | Traditional Russian Recipe

kisellKisel is a velvety cranberry gelatin like custard that is one of the oldest culinary foods in Russia.  The making of Kisel in Russia is dated back to the Twelfth Century. Many stories about the ancient traditions of serving Kisel are still in existence today.

Kisel can be served hot or cold and made using various kinds of fruits. The most traditional method is with cranberries, cherries and red currents.  As well, apples were often used in the winter instead of cherries.

This recipe was given to me by a Russian friend who adored my child and loved her Russian name Natasha. My friend said that the recipe was passed down to him through the generations.

Kisél is also known by other names. In Poland it is called kisiel, in the Ukraine it is called kysil, kissell in Estonia, kiiseli in Finland, kisielius in Lithuanaia, and ķīselis in Latvia. This dish is also similar to the German rote grutze and Danish rodgrod. As you can see, it is a very popular and traditional dessert.

Holiday Cranberry Kisel
Serves 12
Smooth like Pudding, Tart yet Sweet
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 2 cups apples, diced small (2 large)
  2. 1 ½ fresh cranberries cup
  3. 1 ¼ cup filtered water
  4. ½ cup honey, or more to taste
  5. ¼ cup organic corn or potato starch
  6. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1 cup whipped cream (fresh and whipped)
  1. Place apples, cranberries and water in pan. Bring to a boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Cool lightly
  2. Traditionally the mixture is next forced through a sieve. You can also use a blender or Cuisinart. Blend until smooth in texture
  3. Add honey, starch and cinnamon mix slightly. Return to pan
  4. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until thickened
  5. Place pan in bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Whisk occasionally
  6. Fold in whipped cream until soft peaks form
  7. Cover and refrigerate. You can also pour mixture into individual bowls and garnish with a mint leaf
  8. Optional: You can fix Kisel without the whipped cream folded in. When ready to serve, apply whipped cream on the top with a mint leaf as garnish. This wonderful dish can also be served vegan style, without whipped cream. Soy whipped cream is a delightful substitute
  1. Diet Type: Vegetarian
  2. Diet Tags: Gluten Free
  3. Culinary Tradition: Russian
Living Green newsflash

cranberry kisel

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Kisiel In Poland

Some say this culinary treat originated in Poland. Polish kisiel is very similar to the Russia’s version. The most common fruits used are strawberry, cranberry and raspberry.


Picture credit

Featured Picture Credit: dokuzuncubulut

Kisel in Cup: Olga’s Originals

Cranberry bush:photo credit: dawnzy58 via photopin cc


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1 Response

  1. March 6, 2014

    […] Holiday Cranberry Kisel | Traditional Recipe […]

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