Rhubarb Strawberry Kisel
Depending on how much cornstarch you’re using, kisel can be a thick drink or a light dessert you can eat with a spoon. Both ways are delicious and remind me of my early childhood when I would have kisel and cookies as a snack before a late-afternoon nap. That was the only way my grandma could trick me into going to sleep in the middle of the day.
Makes a little under 3 quarts; serves 8 to 10
6 ounces rhubarb, trimmed and roughly chopped
6 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 1/2 quarts plus 1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
In a medium pot, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and 2 1/2 quarts of the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook, keeping the mixture just below a boil stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb and strawberries are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the sugar, mix well with a spoon, and continue cooking until the sugar dissolves, about 1 minute longer.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and the remaining 3 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Using a large whisk, stir the slurry into the rhubarb-strawberry mixture and continue to cook until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Serve the drink chilled or at room temperature with a long dessert spoon for eating the fruits. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.