#Comfort Cooking

Not Your Mama's Ambrosia

May 05, 2017

My mother-in-law always made ambrosia during the holidays.  My sister-in-law has kept that tradition going.  My Mr. B always looks forward to his sister's ambrosia.  I've made it a time or two over the years, but quite frankly, I don't like peeling and cutting all those oranges up, because then my hands just smell like oranges for days.  Then I saw this recipe from Paula Deen.

 We were home with just our immediate family for Christmas dinner last year.   I had several different food preferences that I needed to keep in mind.  There were vegetable casseroles for the vegetarian.  There was fish for those that wouldn't eat meat.  There was macaroni and cheese for - well, everybody.  As we were taking our seats, I was explaining what everything was.  When I said "ambrosia" . . . 

My Mr. B said, "No, you did not make ambrosia!"
I said, "Yes, I did and there it is."
He said, "Well, it's not my Mama's ambrosia."
I said, "It's ambrosia.  If you want to eat it, fine; if not, then don't."

He was a little hesitant at first, but THEN - HE COULDN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT!!  He want's it all the time.  So, about every other week or so, I make him some ambrosia.  He doesn't really like to share it and makes faces at me if I put it on the table when we have company.  The best part is that I don't have to peel oranges and smell like them for days.  It is super simple and really, really good.  Maybe even better than his Mama's.  But don't tell anybody that, okay.


Here's what you need:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water 
Peel from one orange
Peel from one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 (20 ounce) jar refrigerated citrus salad in light syrup, drained
1 (20 ounce) jar refrigerated mandarin oranges, drained
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup, drained
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 large banana, sliced

1.  In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, 1/2 cup water, and orange and lemon peel to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes.  Discard peels.  Stir in extracts.

2.  In a large bowl, stir together citrus salad, oranges, pineapple, cherries, coconut, banana, and citrus syrup (that you just made with the sugar and water).  Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Sometimes I just double the recipe, so then there's enough for My Mr. B and the rest of us - so come on over and I'll share it with you.  We enjoy good company.


  1. Sounds yummy - I love coconut too! What is the citrus salad item?

    1. It's Del Monte Citrus Salad. It's in a jar in the fruit department with the cold things. I have found it at Publix, and Walmart - but you have to look for it. The mandarin oranges are there, too. There is a 20 ounce one, but many times I can only find the larger 64 ounce jar. Then I am "forced" to double the recipe. And can't always find the mandarin oranges there, so I have used just the canned ones on the fruit aisle. When I double it, I don't always double the sugar and water with the peelings. It can't help but be good. Try it - you'll like it.


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