In preparation for the spike in cases of COVID-19 we face, I return my weekly “thank you” to first responders, healthcare professionals and essential workers. Your continued health is in our hands. I thank those who remain diligent and compliant with the necessary protocols to get us to a vaccine…whenever that may be.

I recently taught my first virtual cooking class to the young members of the Bergen-Passaic Chapter of Jack & Jill of America. Their theme was “Black Is King,” in honor of Beyoncé’s latest creation. I had just half an hour to teach 6- to 8-year-old children, and their parents, a fun and easy-to-make recipe.

I landed on this dessert recipe inspired by the colors of the Pan African flag, created in 1920 by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and its founder Marcus Garvey, plus, a nod to one of my favorite reggae groups, Steel Pulse, and their song “Rally ‘Round.” Here is the Pan-African Fruit Sundae!

NOTE: The crumble and the fruit topping can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

Total: 45 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Cooling Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

12 thin Oreos (for regular Oreos, remove filling of half of the cookies), hand crumbled or gently beaten in a zip bag to a large crumb

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Kosher salt

1 small bag frozen berry medley

1 small bag frozen nectarines OR peaches

1 lemon, zest and juice

(optional) 1 tablespoon sugar, white or brown, more to taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch

ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet of choice

fresh whipped cream or canned/whipped topping

1 Keebler Fudge Striped cookie (OR circular cookie with a whole in it)

Fresh mint

Crumble – (color: black)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, add prepared cookies, butter and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.

On the prepared sheet pan, spread out mixture into an even layer and place in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Fruit topping – (colors: red + gold)

In a small sauce pan/pot, add frozen fruit, lemon zest and juice, sugar and cornstarch. Stir to combine and place pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar as needed, one teaspoon at a time, until desired sweetness is achieved.

Cook for 10-13 minutes. Transfer to a storage container and let chill down in the refrigerator.

To assemble

In a clear glass or parfait bowl, add a layer of the cookie crumb. Top with a generous scoop of ice cream. With a spoon or spatula, push down until you achieve a flat surface.

(optional) At this point, you can place the glasses in the freezer until you are ready to serve.

To serve – (color: green)

If needed, remove prepared glasses from the freezer. Add a layer of cooled fruit topping then a layer of whipped cream/topping, leaving a peak in the middle.

Adorn the sundae by threading the whipped cream peak with the hole of its fudge striped circular cookie “crown” and top with a sprig of mint.


Crumble—over some ice cream, sprinkle in pancakes before flipping for texture, combine with nuts and dried fruit for a sweet trail mix

Fruit topping—top plain yogurt, cottage cheese, pancakes, waffles, French toast or more ice cream (who are we kidding?)

Give it a go and send us your version of this dessert or post on social media using #PanAfricanSundae.

Stay safe, wear a mask, eat well and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!