Desserts Using Arab Fruits You Would Never Think To Use

Apples, bananas, oranges, and the like are all fruits we grew up enjoying, whether as slices in our tiny lunchboxes or as freshly blended juice. Along with these popular fruits are lesser-known but beloved varieties found in the Arab world.

We want to introduce them in a unique way by showing you ways to turn these fruits into delicious desserts.

Kaka Tart

It looks like a tomato, but it’s orange in color, its texture is like an apricot, and it tastes super sweet. The kaka or persimmon, grown in Egypt, isn’t a fruit you’d easily hear of, yet many enjoy it.

Eating it is an experience because it has a silky, slippery texture and a tangy sweet taste. No one would ever think to use it as a dessert, but we beg to differ.

This is the ideal dessert for any sweet tooth. The kaka tart is a pastry that blends the tangy sweetness of the fruit with the buttery, crispy crust of the tart. Making it is pretty easy: First, chop the kaka into thin slices, mix it with cinnamon, honey, and sugar, and then add the slices atop the pie crust to bake for 40 minutes. For the full recipe, check out Builicious‘ page.

Harankash Cake

In farmlands like Abu Al Matamir at Egypt’s Beheira, farmers gather to pick fresh harankash (cape gooseberry) starting in August. These small, round yellow fruits concealed within a papery covering pack a real punch: a bittersweet, slightly tart, and juicy flavor. Their acidity makes them an unlikely choice for a dessert, but with some creativity, they can be turned into a sweet treat.

Meet the harankash cake, a super moist, sweet cake made with special yellow fruit, cinnamon, and raw pecans sprinkled on top. Its flavor screams autumn vibes, especially from the cinnamon. To make the recipe, you can check out Sprouting Vitality‘s official page.

Teen Shoki Cheesecake

Prickly and a bit scary are the carts filled with teen shoki (prickly pear). Probably the most popular fruit on this list, teen shoki is the go-to fruit during the summer across Egypt, as it’s mainly composed of water.

Eating it is akin to drinking a refreshing and sweet fruit juice. That’s why it’s hard to picture it as a dessert, but again, we beg to differ.

Out there in the world is a way to make teen shoki cheesecake. This recipe completely turns the prickly pear on its head as you’ll need to turn the fruit into a sweet syrup.

To do so, you’ll need to peel, dice, and seed the prickly pears, boil them in water, and then mash them. You can use any recipe on the internet to make the cheesecake. The final step is pouring the delicious syrup atop the cheesecake. For the full recipe, head to A Natural Place‘s official page.

Nabaa Crisp

These small green oval-shaped fruits, known as nabaa or buckthorn, are sold in packs and are super addictive. Sold in supermarkets across Egypt, this crispy fruit has a taste unlike any other, blending the sour taste of the green apple with the sweetness of the red apple.

That’s why a great recipe to try is a nabaa crisp, a funky twist on the typical apple crisp recipe.

Via All Recipes

To make the nabaa crisp, you can use an apple crisp recipe, but you’ll have to double the amount of the nabaa used, as it’s smaller in size compared to a typical apple.

The basic steps for the recipe include lining a baking dish with sliced nabaa, sprinkling them with white sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and then adding an oat topping, followed by baking it in the oven. It’s super simple, and a great recipe to try is the All Recipes version.

Mulberry Compote

When you think of berries, your mind immediately darts to the US, as it’s home to most of the world’s berries. Along with America, you should also set your sights on Egypt, as the country is known to produce a delicious and juicy berry known as the mulberry or toot el eswid. Sweet, slightly tangy, its flavor profile makes it great with cream or butter infused desserts.

To make the most out of the fruit, we recommend making a mulberry compote, which means turning the fruit into a delicious syrup. You can do that by heating it on the stove with sugar, orange juice, and zest until it reaches the consistency of syrup.

You can pair that compote with a creamy base like panna cotta or ice cream. For the full recipe, you can head to Delicious‘ official page.

All these fruits are unique—sort of like underdogs—and you’d probably overlook them for a recipe. Let us know if we missed any other Arab fruits that deserve a mention.

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