Kiisseli is a popular Finnish dessert. It’s probably best described as a cross between a fruit soup and a fruit jelly.
Since I’ve had an abundance of strawberries this year, I’ve used fresh strawberries to make kiisseli. You can also use frozen ones if you prefer. And you can try other flavours: blueberries, raspberries, red currants, black currants, and basically any berries and soft fruit. At Christmas the Finns also make kiisseli out of various dried fruit.
800 g (4 cups) strawberries
250 ml (1 cup) apple juice
250 ml (1 cup) + 125 ml (½ cup) water
3 tbsp corn starch*
100 g Sweet Freedom (⅓ cup agave nectar) – or more to taste
1. Hull the strawberries and place half of them into a blender or electric chopper. Blitz until they form a smooth purée.
2. Pour the strawberry purée into a large saucepan. Mix in the apple juice, 250 ml (1 cup) of water and Sweet Freedom (agave nectar).
3. Heat the saucepan and bring the strawberry liquid to the boil. Stir occasionally with a whisk.
4. While the sauce is heating up, prepare the thickening agent: put the corn starch and 125 ml (½ cup) into a small measuring jug and stir until the corn starch has lost its solid texture.
5. When the strawberry liquid comes to the boil, stir the corn and water mixture, then pour it into the saucepan very slowly, stirring with a whisk all the time. The kiisseli will now start to thicken. Simmer for 4 minutes, then take off the heat and set aside.
6. Chop the remaining strawberries into tiny pieces. Mix them into the kiisseli. Taste the kiisseli and add more sweetener if need be.
7. Let the kiisseli cool to room temperature, then chill it in a refrigerator. Serve on its own, with some vanilla cream or as an accompaniment to rice pudding.
If you can eat corn, use potato starch instead of corn starch. In fact, in Finland kiisseli is traditionally made with potato starch. I have made this version with corn starch because it’s more easily available in the supermarkets in the UK.
Copyright © Tarja Moles. Photograph © Tarja Moles.
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Tarja Moles is the author of No Naughties: Sweet Treats without Sugar, Wheat, Gluten and Yeast. Visit www.nonaughties.com for free recipes and information on special diets and living with multiple dietary restrictions.
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