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Treat of the Week: Classic Ambrosia

best classic ambrosia recipe

Ambrosia is one of those treats that instantly takes me back to my childhood. This was a usual suspect for many picnics and fellowship dinners. It seemed to be made with most of the same ingredients, but someone was always trying to apply their own unique twist.  I, too, have a favorite recipe although it is very basic. The one thing that may be unique to this recipe is orange zest. I believe that the flavored whipped cream really makes this dish.

This is an incredibly easy dish to make. Truth be told, I was looking for simple this week. The first week of school is over and it was filled with making lunches and homework review and business meetings and baking. I needed a treat that was easy and that my “monkeys” love.  This is a winner. It brings wide toothy smiles and big squeezes every time.

savourmonkey hugs


best classic ambrosia recipe

Before you start:

Reserve the juice from the fruit to add to orange juice or for a cocktail.

Fat or not, nothing replaces the flavor or real whipped cream. Use substitutes at your own risk.

The chilled bowl is ideal for good results. I keep a small one in the freezer most of the time.

Some people like to add other things to their ambrosia. You might like mini marshmallows or maraschino cherries. I have even heard that some add bananas.

The ingredients:

  • 24 oz. mandarin oranges (in juice, not syrup)
  • 20 oz. crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
best classic ambrosia recipe

The method:

  1. Place a metal bowl in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. Grate orange peel for zest.
  3. Chop pistachios to small pebble size.
  4. In a colander, drain the oranges and pineapple very well.
  5. Place oranges, pineapple, and coconut in a bowl.  Stir until well combined.
  6. In a chilled metal bowl, begin beating heavy cream on low and work up to high speed.
  7. Add zest.
  8. Sprinkle in sugar while beating.
  9. Beat cream until stiff peaks form (just a few minutes).
  10. Add a third of the cream to the fruit and stir it in.
  11. Gently fold in remaining cream and 1/2 cup of the pistachios.
  12. Place in serving cups and top with remaining pistachios.


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