Thursday, 27 January 2011


A rather old-fashioned dessert, Ambrosia. According to The Old Foodie, it originated in the southern U.S., in the middle of the 19th century, and at that point consisted of sliced oranges with grated coconut. By the time it had wended its way to our household in the mid 1960's, it had picked up some dates along the way. I've added a little preserved ginger because I love preserved ginger and because I think it goes. I've been getting some very nice navel and blood oranges at the grocery lately and they go together nicely but you can use whatever kind you like. Whatever quantity you like too; I've listed what I used but it is the kind of recipe where you just put in what you want.

There are so-called recipes for Ambrosia out there that call for things like yogurt, sour cream, Jell-O, marshmallows and/or Cool-whip. Ignore them. They are an abomination unto the Lord; yea, even the yogurt. The pleasure of Ambrosia is in the simplicity of it. Just make sure you have nice, moist coconut. I normally buy unsweetened coconut, but for this I get the largest flake available, and sweetened. Good, fresh, moist dates are important too.

2 to 4 servings
20 minutes prep time - plus some chill time

1 large navel orange
2 or 3 blood oranges
8 to 12 dates
1 or 2 cubes preserved ginger, finely minced (optional)
1/4 cup coarsely shredded, moist dessicated coconut

Peel and segment the oranges, discarding as much of the covering membranes as is practical. Cut or break each segment in halves or thirds. Put them in a container than can be covered. Cut the dates in quarters, and add them to the oranges. Mince the ginger and add it, if you like. I do think it is a good addition.

Cover the mixture and chill for one to 24 hours, to allow the dates to soften a bit. Just before serving, mix in the coconut.


Emily said...

My mom's ambrosia is usually oranges, coconut and bananas. It's a good combination too.

Ferdzy said...

Okay, that's alright. Just no Cool-whip or marshmnallows! :P

CallieK said...

The fruit cocktail with jello/marshmallows/whipped cream version was a staple of United Church potluck dinners when I was a child and can still be found in the cookbooks ( I own several). We called it Ambrosia salad and I still crave it occasionally although I have never actually sunk to making it. Your version seems to share only the name and looks much more refined