|Ambrosia has moved on to more of a fruit salad these days, here made with apples, bananas, mandarin oranges, mini marshmallows, pecans, coconut and maraschino cherries, but it started out very simply once containing oranges and coconut.|
Ambrosia Fruit SaladAh, ambrosia... a southern favorite for sure. Classic, old fashioned ambrosia usually had only two ingredients though - oranges and coconut - served most often with a dressing of orange juice and sugar. That is a true ambrosia.
These days ambrosia has moved more into the category of a fruit salad however, having a varied mixture of a wide range of fruit from oranges, to apples, pineapples, pears, even grapefruit, and served with some kind of dressing - often sour cream, whipped cream or yogurt based, though my preference is a juice based dressing. I like mine with a mixture of fruit, and that is why I call my version an Ambrosia Fruit Salad. The type of fruit you use is relative, as are the amounts, though generally at least one thing is common to all ambrosia recipes and that is coconut. I say use what you like, what you have and what makes you happy.
If I have some seedless red grapes, I really like to add a couple handfuls of those too, halved - I just didn't have any on hand at the time of making this one. What I've listed here are really guesstimates and usually enough for about 6 servings, depending on the size of your individual serving dishes. It's good for about 4 of those you see in that tall glass pictured above.
What fruit is included in your traditional fruit salad or ambrosia, and how do you dress your version?
Ambrosia Fruit Salad©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Inactive time: 8 hours | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1/2 to 1 cup of orange juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, or to taste
- 2 sweet or sweet-tart apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
- 1 to 2 bananas, chopped, optional
- 1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
- 2 handfuls of mini marshmallows, optional
- 2 handfuls of pecans, chopped
- 2 handfuls of sweetened, shredded coconut
- Maraschino cherries, for garnish
Grab a glass mixing bowl, large enough to hold all the ingredients, and whisk together the orange juice and powdered sugar in the bottom of the bowl. Chop apples and gently toss with the orange juice mixture to coat. Layer the oranges, marshmallows, pecans and coconut on top of the apple. Toss gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate, gently stirring occasionally. Just before serving, add the sliced bananas, and give another gentle stir and taste. Add additional powdered sugar and stir in if a sweeter taste is desired. Using a slotted spoon to drain most of the juice, spoon into tall dessert glasses or cups and top with a tiny sprinkle of coconut and one cherry.
Cook's Note: I used Gala apples.
True Southern Ambrosia: Use one large naval orange per serving desired. For 4 servings, working on a ridged cutting board to capture any juices, section 4 naval oranges. Cut both ends of the orange off and run a sharp paring knife down the curved sides of the orange, cutting just into the flesh and removing all of the white pith, so that only the flesh of the orange remains. Section by running the knife along the inside of the membrane of the orange for each section. Place a single layer of oranges in a storage bowl, sprinkle very lightly with granulated sugar to taste if needed. Grate fresh coconut (or frozen, thawed coconut) over the top and repeat layers. Do not use the shelf stable coconut. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight. Toss and spoon into small dessert bowls to serve, spooning accumulated juices from the bottom over each serving.
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