Polish kisiel is a traditional dessert made by thickening fruit kompot with potato starch. It tastes best served warm but you can have it cool too!
Just a bite of my babcia’s light kisiel, and you can feel the coolness again. But when browsing the Internet, I haven’t found much information about viscous fruit dessert. I am quite surprised as the kisiel recipe is something every Polish housewife knows and uses.
Nowadays, many of them simply buy instant kisiel, but I can’t really understand why. The time required to prepare homemade or instant kisiel is pretty much the same, and obviously, the first one is much healthier. Zdrowy!
What Is Polish Kisiel?
What is kisiel?
Kisiel is a viscous fruit dessert, traditionally made for kids as a sweet afternoon snack. It’s basically kompot (fruit drink) thickened with potato flour.
The dish has a sticky structure, just like jelly does before it’s fully set.
Where Did Kisiel Originate?
Kisiel originated somewhere in Europe before the 9th century. There’s a legend of how it saved the Kyivan Rus city of Bilhorod Kyivskyi that was besieged by semi-nomadic Turkish Patzinaks in 997.
The story says that when food became scarce, an old man in the city showed the local Ruthenians learned how to make kissel from leftover grain, and a drink from the last mead in the town.
The townsfolk stored these items in wooden containers covered by fake wells and took a bite or drink whenever they needed.
When the Patzinak or Pechengian ambassadors entered the town, they assumed that the earth magically provided food to the locals, and decided to call off the siege.
Of course, that’s a story. No one knows if it’s true or not. But the dish Kisiel is still here centuries later, and truly refreshing.
What Are The Different Types of Kiesel?
Kisiel can be prepared using different fruits such as cherries, oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, lemons, or cranberries and is called kisiel owocowy – or fruit jelly.
There is a mouth-watering kisiel owocowy made with apples that’s called kisiel jabłkowy or apple jelly. And then there’s one made with cherries called kisiel wiśniowy that’s delicious.
Other popular flavors include the kisiel morelowy made with apricots, kisiel truskawkowy is made with strawberries, kisiel żurawinowy is made with cranberries, kisiel malinowy made with raspberries, kisiel agrest made with gooseberries, and kisiel porzeczkowy made with red currants.
Served for kindergarten tea just like the rice pudding, kisiel is cooling in the summer heat! And it’s a bit more nutritious than ice cream!
If the jelly or pudding is made with milk, it’s called kisiel mleczny.
How To Make Kisiel?
It’s really easy to make kisiel. You can either make it from kompot of from fresh fruits. Here’s how to make it with my favorite flavor – cherries.
Method One: How To Make Kisiel From Kompot or Fruit Juice
Take one cup of kompot and set aside. Heat the rest of the kompot (or fruit juice) till it boils and turn the stove off.
Mix the potato starch with the cold kompot in the cup. Add this mixture to the hot kompot and stir till it thickens. Serve warm!
Method Two: How To Make Kisiel From Fresh Fruits
Chop the fruits into pieces of any size and add them to a pot with water. Boil on medium heat for about 30 minutes till and then add sugar or a sweetener of your choice.
At this point, you can also decide whether you want to leave the fruits in the kompot or remove them and use them elsewhere.
Take one cup of kompot from the pot and allow it to cool. Mix the potato starch with this cold kompot and add it back to the hot kompot in the pot. Once it thickens, it’s ready to serve!
Tips For Making Authentic Polish Kisiel
You can use any kind of juice to make this dessert.
Even though it’s not the traditional way of making it, you can use any kind of juice to make kisiel, even orange juice you can buy at the grocery store.
For 2 cups of juice, you need to use 2 tbsp of potato starch to get a perfect consistency.
Make sure to dissolve the potato starch in the cold kompot/juice.
In order to get the right consistency, you need to dissolve potato starch with a bit of cold kompot/juice and then pour the mixture into the remaining boiling hot liquid.
Eat it cold or hot.
Kisiel is usually eaten right away, when it’s hot. However, you can store it in the fridge and eat cold the following day. It will be just as good.
You can make kompot from fresh or frozen fruits.
If you don’t have fresh fruits in your fridge, you can use the frozen ones as well.
FAQs About Making Kisiel
How To Make Keto Kisiel?
Is Kisiel Vegetarian Or Vegan?
Yes, this version of fruit kisiel is vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
What Does Kisiel Mean?
Kisiel is derived from the Slavic word ‘kisly’ which means sour. It’s based on an old Slavic term for unleavened food, but over time came to be associated with other fruits before finally being associated with desserts.
What Other Polish Fruit Jelly Can I Make With Potato Starch?
You can make Polish fruit soup using potato starch. The difference here is that you use more starch in the kisiel and less in the fruit jelly.
What Is The Difference Between Compote And Kompot?
Compote is made by slow-cooking dried or fresh fruit in a mixture of sugar and water to preserve it while allowing the fruit to retain its shape. Kompot on the other hand is an Eastern European drink made in a similar method, that contains more parts water than fruit.
How Long Can You Store Leftover Kisiel In The Refrigerator?
Leftover kisiel can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
Authentic Polish Kisiel Recipe
- 1 lbs of fruits (apples, plums, cherries, etc.)
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of potato starch
- If you already have a kompot ready, skip to the step 5.
- Wash the fruits and put them into the pot. Bigger fruits such as apples or pears should be cut into smaller pieces.
- Pour the water.
- Boil on medium heat for about half an hour. Add sweetener.
- Take off the fruits or leave them inside kompot.
- Wait until kompot is cold, or cool off half a cup of it.
- Mix potato starch with COLD kompot.
- Pour the mixture into the remaining boiling hot kompot.
- Your kisiel is ready to eat!
You can use any kind of juice (even the one from the grocery store) to make this dessert, just make sure it's not too sweet.
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Kisiel Wisniowy - Cherry Kisiel
Kisiel Malinowy - Raspberry kisiel
Kisiel Orange - Kisiel pomarańczowy
Kisiel lemon - Kisiel cytrynowy
Kisiel Cranberry - Kisiel żurawinowy
Kisiel green apple - Kisiel zielone jabłuszko
Potato Starch (Flour) - Mąka (skrobia) ziemniaczana
Sugar - Cukier
Black Plum - Śliwka
Pear Organic Bartlett - Gruszka
Honeycrisp Apple - Jabłko
Stainless Pot - Garnek średni
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