This quintessential southern American salad (or dessert) was a light and refreshing to end a light and refreshing plated dinner at the peak of Singapore’s hot, humid, steamy summer (having jettisoned the traditional cherries, marshmallows and cream).
I don’t know where I discovered the recipe years ago, but the slip of paper in my book had excellent scrawled beside it, so obviously it had been tried, tested and had come out tops …
It was fun rediscovering it : sourcing the freshest coconut in the wet market, watching the grim and focused vendor balance the coconut on a tin can, use a small knife in swift, precise, clean strokes to strip the brown pith off, slice through the meat, release the coconut water ; quartering it in two quick movements. (Fresh coconut is an absolute imperative, I gathered, from reading an interesting piece on ambrosia).
Examining a pile of pineapple from Malaysia. Seedless grapes from Chile. Black. Mandarins, tangerines, murcotts from Florida, Pakistan, Australia. Picking and choosing.
- 4 oranges, segmented, seeds and pith removed
- grated zest of 1 orange, and juiced
- 1 tbsp clear honey or light muscovado sugar
- small bunch of small seedless grapes, halved
- 1 small pineapple, cubed
- chunk of fresh coconut, shaved into thin slices or a handful of fresh grated coconut
- handful pecan halves
- Add honey or sugar to the zest and juice, mix well.
- Add grapes and pineapple to the orange segments and juice.
- Stir coconut into salad.
- Sprinkle with pecans before serving.
Ambrosia is traditionally served as part of the Thanksgiving meal in America. It is a perfect dessert after a rich main course.