Old Fashioned Ambrosia
Recipe by Damon Lee Fowler, featuring
Salt Table’s Coconut Sugar
The natural coconut flavor of the Salt Table’s Coconut Sugar intensifies the flavor of fresh grated coconut and, when you don’t have a fresh nut to grate, perks up frozen flaked coconut.
Serves 6 to 8
- 1 small, fresh coconut with juice or about 2 cups unsweetened frozen coconut, thawed
- 1 fresh, ripe pineapple
- 6 large, sweet oranges, such as navel or Honeybell
- Salt Table Toasted Coconut Sugar
- Granulated sugar
- 12-15 Maraschino Cherries, pitted and halved, optional
HOW TO MAKE IT:
- If not using a fresh coconut, skip to step 2. Fit a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. With a skewer, ice pick, or Philips-head screwdriver, punch out the stem scars that make the monkey face on one side of the coconut. Invert it over the strainer and drain. The juice should smell of fresh coconut: if it’s musty, discard the whole thing. Lay the nut on an unbreakable surface (a patio, bare concrete floor, front walk). Tap it firmly around the middle with a hammer, rotating, until it cracks and splits. Turn each half rounded end up, and tap until the shell breaks apart. Pry the white flesh from the shell, peel off the brown skin, and shred the nutmeat with a fine grater.
- Cut off the stem and sprout ends of the pineapple, and peel it. Cut out the core and slice the pineapple in 1/4-inch thick pieces. A pineapple corer, which looks like a corkscrew on steroids, makes short work of this step or if you’re lucky, some grocers will peel and core it for you. Cut the sliced pineapple into bite-sized chunks.
- Cut off the stem and blossom ends of the orange, cutting all the way through to the pulp. Holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices, peel them by cutting all the way through to the inner pulp. Slice crosswise ¼-inch-thick and remove the seeds from each slice.
- Cover the bottom of a deep glass bowl with a layer of oranges, sprinkle generously with coconut, a teaspoon or so of the coconut sugar, and a tablespoon or so regular granulated sugar to taste. Cover with a layer of pineapple and sprinkle with more coconut, coconut sugar, and regular sugar. If liked, scatter a few cherry halves among the pineapple. Repeat until all the fruit is in the dish, finishing with a layer of oranges and a thick one of coconut and, if using, cherry halves for garnish. Let stand 1 hour before serving or cover tightly and refrigerate until needed.