Am I the only one who went to potlucks as a kid? Ate lots of creamy potluck salad/dessert hybrids? I have no idea why they are always called salads but they are certainly more on the dessert end of things. My 13 year old niece came to spend the weekend with us recently and she made me think about those again.  She is a fantastic passionate cook (YEAH!) but unfortunately recently learned that she can no longer eat dairy. Boo, that was her favorite.  She’s the kind of beanpole kid who can eat a carton of ice cream and store it in her hollow leg.  Not any more…

Anyway I was thinking about all of those salads with fruit and creamy fake stuff and I thought what if I made one out of real stuff? Would it be as good? Are maraschino cherries absolutely necessary?  Well I had to find out.  My favorite one of the afore-mentioned salads was Ambrosia, food of the gods as it were.  There are a lot of things that go by that name, but my favorite was basically a bunch of canned fruit and coconut. That made me think about a rumor I heard that you could whip coconut milk, or cream I guess.  Time to give it a shot.


I bought a can of coconut milk, the stuff in the carton won’t work, it has gums or stabilizers in it and doesn’t separate.  You need the stuff from the asian aisle.  I put it in my fridge for a day and let the cream rise to the top.  When I opened the can the cream was white and solid, underneath was a clear liquid layer.  I pulled the cream off the top and put it in my mixer bowl.


I whipped the coconut cream until it was fluffy, then added some honey, sugar would certainly work too.


Then I chopped up fruit, fruit cocktail’s fresh cousin.  Peaches, white grapes are always in fruit cocktail.  I cut the sides off of cherries, I always hated maraschino but real cherries rock!  I cheated, instead of grapes I used cantaloupe, that’s what I had and I was too lazy to go to the store.


I loaded it all into wine glasses and topped it with the cream, then I toasted some coconut in a dry pan and threw that on too.  Normally ambrosia is mixed up but this was just too pretty, mixing up came when I ate it.  Then I named this thing, Crambrosia, either because it’s with coconut and raw fruit, or because as soon as I took the picture I crammed the whole thing in my mouth.  I’ll let you decide which you think applies 🙂


Serves 4-6

1 can coconut milk
1 Tb honey
1/4 c dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cantaloupe (or 2 pears or pineapple)
1 cup white grapes
1/2 cup cherries
3 peaches

Put the coconut milk in the fridge overnight.  Open the can and scoop out the cream, avoiding the clear liquid underneath.  Whip the cold cream with an electric mixer or immersion blender until fluffy.  When fluffy add the honey.  Put the coconut in a dry pan and toast over medium heat until fragrant and just golden brown.  Dice up all the fruit, for the cherries, just cut around the pits, little pieces are fine.  Put the fruit in a glass, top with the cream and coconut and enjoy.

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