WHAT IS AMBROSIA SALAD?
Ambrosia salad can be many things, but it’s essentially a fruit salad with whipped cream as a “dressing” to hold the ingredients together. There are many versions out there, but this version is my personal favorite. It includes some canned fruit, some fresh, and some crunchy elements (slivered almonds) for texture.
WHAT KINDS OF FRUIT ARE USED IN AMBROSIA SALAD?
Mandarin oranges and pineapple are nice choices for canned fruits, but you could use fruit cocktail if you wanted. I like to add in some fresh fruit to my salad, although I’m not sure if that is traditional. A peeled and chopped apple adds a nice crunch to the salad.
CAN YOU MAKE AMBROSIA SALAD IN ADVANCE?
Ambrosia salad doesn’t have a great shelf life. If you think about it, it’s fruit and whipped cream.
Make it a few hours before you plan to serve it, but I wouldn’t make it the night before, especially if you’re planning to serve it for a special meal (like Easter). Once it spends the night in the fridge, the fruit is lackluster, and the whipped cream starts to break down.
If you end up with leftovers, I like to eat mine within two days or it might be good up to three days if you’re lucky, but two is where I usually leave it. I would not serve it for a party after a day in the fridge, but it’s fine for snacking!
- 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 (15 oz) can pineapple chunks, drained
- 1/2 cup maraschino cherries, halved
- 3 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 apple, peeled and chopped (any kind will do)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
For the whipped cream dressing:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Toast the coconut: Add coconut to a dry medium skillet set over medium-low heat. Toast until fragrant, stirring regularly. Watch it closely, as it can burn quickly. When the coconut starts to turn a light brown color, 2 to 3 minutes, it’s done.This is an optional step, but it gives a flavor boost to the coconut.
- Mixing the salad: Add the toasted coconut to a bowl with the orange segments, pineapple chunks, cherries, mini marshmallows, apples, and almonds. Stir together well.
- Make the whipped cream dressing: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat heavy whipping cream on high for 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to stiffen.Then add the sour cream and sugar, and continue to whip until the mixture is still silky but holds firm peaks. Do not overwhip.
- Finish the salad: Fold the whipped cream mixture into the fruit and nut mixture.
- Serve: Serve immediately. Keep the ambrosia salad leftovers in the fridge for up two days.