Sour Cherry is my favorite fruit. Their unique sweet and sour taste and deep color makes it perfect for so many dishes or just for enjoying raw. I remember going with my mother early morning to the Farmers Market in the end of June and almost whole month of July and there were pails of Sour Cherries of many sorts, colors and taste; sweeter or more sour.
We would buy one pail and at home start working; we preserved them in their own juice, cooked preserves, baked pies, and even cooked in dumplings (Vareniki).
Here is one of many varieties of summer desserts using Sour Cherries.
Kissel is a traditional Russian summer dessert.
It can be made of fresh or dried fruit and berries or syrups and juice and also milk and almonds.
For fruit and berries Kissel is used potato starch; it allows Kissel to maintain the beautiful color of fruits and berries, and also keeps it clear.
For milk and almond better to use cornstarch that makes the consistency tender and smooth.
Kissel is usually is accompanied by sweetened whipped cream or sour cream.
• 2 cups pitted Sour Cherries, fresh or frozen
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 tablespoons potato starch dissolved in ¾ cup cold red wine
Place cherries in a bowl, cover with half of the sugar.
Put the Sour Cherries in a colander over a medium sauce pan. Let it stay for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Mix them periodically.
The accumulated juice mix with remaining sugar, add 1 cup of the wine and cook for 5-6 minutes, then add the drained cherries and cook for a 2-3 more minutes. To preserve the bright color and enhance the taste add lemon juice.
When the syrup is ready, takeoff the stove and strain through a fine sift.
Cool to room temperature; then stir-in the potato starch dissolved in the cold wine, return to the stove (only syrup) and cook stirring until just starts to boil. Strain ones more.
In the bottom of 8 nice glasses or bowls put a few cherries and pour the syrup on top.
Cover the top with some sanding or just coarse sugar to prevent from film forming.
Chill until ready to serve.