Zobo Poached Pears & Ice Cream

Zobo dessert

Zobo poached pears, don’t these beauties look dangerously good? Honestly,when I first heard about the concept of poaching fruits, it didn’t sound so appealing to me.Yes I could understand poaching other food items but not fruits; at the time I couldn’t imagine what was so enjoyable about a fruit boiled in any liquid; especially a sweet one for that matter. Then to make matters worse, we poached pears in red wine…alcohol and I don’t go well at all.


Then the thought came to me, when I thought about the zobo flowers in my pantry…wouldn’t I get the same red colour as red wine; and I will actually be able to eat them. So you can’t imagine my excitement when I actually found a recipe that an Egyptian food blogger had actually put online; apparently Egyptians use zobo leaves as well to make a drink which they call “Karkedeh”.

Honestly, this is one of the best desserts I have made so far. The pears soak up the wonderful warm flavours of the spices & the tartness & dramatic colour of the zobo flowers as they poach.

Honestly these pears can be enjoyed just as they are but they are so good with the ice cream. If you don’t have ice cream then maybe you can try this other yogurt as well.



  • 35g (1 cup) dried zobo flowers
  • 1 cup pineapple, chunks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 80ml (1/3 cup) honey
  • 1 litre water
  • 4 firm pears, peeled and cored, leaving stems on


  1. In a large pot, place the zobo flowers, pineapple, honey and water. Bring to a boil on medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes, so that all the flavours infuse into the water.
  2. Add the prepared pears and poach at medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning the pears frequently for an even colour, until tender but not too soft (a well poached pear should be easily sliced & eaten with just a spoon. The poaching time will vary depending on the ripeness of the pears).
  3. Take the pot off the heat and leave the pears to cool in the poaching liquid, turning them occasionally.
  4. Remove the pears from the liquid onto a plate. 
  5. Serve the pears at room temperature or chilled from fridge with vanilla ice cream and some extra zobo liquid. Top ice cream with toasted coconut flakes.

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