Pineapple Beet Ambrosia

June  9, 2014
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Ambrosia was ripe for a refresh. I started with pineapple – bright like mandarin oranges, yet, well, not canned – and roasted beets (do roast them, which brings out their sweetness), and mixed the two with grated ginger, raw sugar, and shredded coconut. (You can use unsweetened flaked coconut, but I prefer the sweetened, soft shredded kind for this recipe.) Usually you mix together all the ingredients at once, and then let it macerate for a few hours. In this new-fangled version, I let the fruit and coconut macerate, and finish the rest just before serving. In place of the marshmallows, which can stay in the 70s, I made a whipped sour cream topping that gets spooned on top of the salad and sits aloft like a cloud. As you eat the gently spiced fruit salad, you mix in the cream, lightening it, softening the edges, and bringing ambrosia a whole lot closer to the 21st century. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups cubed (1/2-inch) pineapple
  • 1 cup cubed (1/2-inch) roasted beets
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • Pinch cayenne
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the pineapple, beets, coconut, ginger, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Chill for 1 to 4 hours. In a small bowl, whip the cream and remaining sugar to soft peaks. Fold in the sour cream. Season the pineapple mixture to taste with a few small pinches cayenne, and spoon mixture into a bowl. Serve the fruit salad, topped with a generous helping of whipped cream, to mix in as it's eaten.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ifjuly
  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • alexhoyt
  • Letty Flatt
    Letty Flatt
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

5 Reviews

alexhoyt November 2, 2020
This recipe made me so happy. It’s brilliant. I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream since it’s what I had, it worked great.
ifjuly April 9, 2019
Brilliant refresh. I imagine it'd be ideal at a spring or summer picnic as a just-sweet-enough palate cleanser after a rich main, doing double duty as side component and light dessert. I love the thought and care behind the design--it really does evoke and honor the good ideas in ambrosias past while bringing the thing up to date.
Amanda H. April 9, 2019
Thanks so much!
Letty F. July 2, 2014
Love this idea of Beets and Pineapple for dessert!!!
Count M. June 16, 2014
This reminds me of a Mollie Katzen recipe called "Beets Odessa," which also includes garlic and prunes. It sounds like the most awful collision of flavors, but it really works!