Saturday, May 24, 2014


Ambrosia is what happens when the South gets a hold of the concept of a fool, which is puréed fruit folded into whipped cream.  While this "salad" is less elegant, it is certainly more appreciated by the average diner.  It uses several kinds of popular fruit, instead of the one common berry that grew wild in Europe (gooseberries).  I was thinking of making this for Memorial Day, then decided that I want it now instead.  I had most of the ingredients on hand for a half batch and just needed the fruit.

There are all sorts of recipes out there for ambrosia.  Most use fresh fruit.  Many use nuts.  Alton Brown's has you make your own marshmallows, grate coconut by hand, and peel a lot of oranges.  It takes half an hour by his estimates, about two by mine.  I hate peeling oranges.  My mom's version was always a) drain can of mixed fruit, b) stir it and rest of ingredients together, c) chill and serve.  Simple, fast, and a great way to finish an outdoor party.

If this recipe sounds too rich or sweet for you, you can replace some of the whipped topping with fat-free plain yogurt or lite sour cream.  Just taste to make sure you don't need to compensate with a touch of sugar.

2 15-oz cans mixed fruit with cherries
1 15-oz can mandarin oranges
*1 8oz tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
*2 C shredded, sweetened coconut flakes (more for garnish)
*2 C mini marshmallows

And that's as hard as it gets
1.  Drain canned fruit very well and place in medium mixing bowl.

2.  Add coconut and whipped topping.  Stir to combine.  Fold in marshmallows.

3.  Chill for at least one hour.  Stir again in case any juice came out of the fruit, then place in serving bowl.  Garnish with reserved or extra coconut.  That way you don't get whipped cream up the sides of the bowl and everyone can tell you were making a mess while stirring.  If you're taking it somewhere, feel free to freeze it partially.  Not rock solid, just enough that it is barely defrosted at serving time.

Serves 8 to 10

Difficulty rating  π

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