Next to ice cream, Russians claim kissel as their favorite dessert. It's a sweetened fruit purée thickened with either cornstarch or potato flour, which gives it a soft-custard texture. Kissel can be served hot or cold, usually topped with cream or a custard sauce.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.