I have to give my mother credit for this idea because I would never normally be doing anything with pears. I don’t really like them because they taste spineless and indecisive and they have a grainy texture that drives me nuts. But she came home one Sunday after church with a bag full of pears, dumped the bag on the kitchen counter and said, without looking at me, ‘these will be good for dessert today. I see them poached in zobo.’ Like a well raised African child, I knew I’d been given my orders. Challenge accepted, and this recipe was born.
7 pears, peeled
1 small handful of hibiscus, roselle, or zobo leaves
1 stick of ginger
1/2 vanilla pod
1 stick lemongrass
1 tsp pink peppercorns
3 cardamom pods, cracked open
1/4 cup of sugar
3 cups drinking water
-Place all the ingredients in a pot. I used my trusty Le Creuset for this because I wanted this to stew on low heat to preserve the delicate zobo/hibiscus flavour. Cast iron pots are excellent for low and slow stewing at an even temperature.
-Pour over the water and heat on a low flame until the pears have taken on a deep crimson blush, all the flavours have melded and the pears are soft and cooked through.
-Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream, or allow to cool and then store in a large jar in the fridge for later enjoyment.
Tip: This keeps for about 5 days in the fridge, and tastes divine when paired with natural or Greek yoghurt and granola at breakfst.