A Dash of This

Ambrosia with Coconut Mascarpone Cream

Olivia CooperComment
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Anyone else relieved January is over? I’m not much for resolutions or detoxes, so January always feels to me like a steep plummet from the cheer and gluttony of the holidays. As you can probably tell, I rely on plenty of treats, coffee and other “hygge” things to get me through.

Although I approach resolutions half-heartedly, I enjoy taking a little time for self-reflection at the start of each year, to think about the highs and lows of the last year and what I'd like to accomplish in the next one. Admittedly, one of those things is to stop worring about where I think I should be and focus on where I actually want to be. OK, to be honest this occurs to me every year. But in the words of the wise and beautiful Kylie Jenner, I’ve got a feeling this is gonna be “the year of like, realizing stuff.”

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One of the ways I started the year was by making an old dessert new again. If you haven’t heard of ambrosia, you’re not alone. I googled this dessert to see what images are out there, and what I found were mostly pictures of “dessert salads” – masses of whipped cream, canned orange segments, marshmallows and maraschino cherries – not the stuff of my childhood.

When I was little, my granny used to make ambrosia in winter and early spring, when Florida oranges and grapefruits were in season. It's deceptively simple and delicious on its own or spooned over yogurt, or pound cake, or a pavlova … the possibilities are pretty much endless.

My updated version is served over a coconut mascarpone cream, topped with fresh coconut and toasted pistachios. In other words, it tastes like you're floating on a tropical, coconut cloud while sipping Mai Tais. Just the kind of respite we all need in the dead of winter.

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2 navel oranges
2 blood oranges or tangerines
1 pink grapefruit
Honey to taste

Coconut Mascarpone Cream

16 oz. (2 cups) mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup coconut cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 scant tbsp caster sugar


1 fresh coconut or unsweetened coconut flakes
toasted, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

To make the coconut mascarpone, combine the mascarpone, coconut cream, vanilla and sugar in a medium bow. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until smooth. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the ambrosia, use a sharp knife to remove the skin and pith from the oranges and grapefruit. Cut between the membranes to segment each fruit, letting the slices fall into a bowl. Drizzle with honey.

If using fresh coconut, remove the shell and, using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin. Shave thin slices of coconut with the peeler.

When ready to serve, spoon the mascarpone mixture into individual bowls. Top with the citrus segments, followed by coconut shavings and a sprinkle of toasted pistachios.