Friday, July 11, 2008

Ambrosia bread pudding is blast from the past

Remember that fruit concoction from way back in the seventies that someone labeled “Ambrosia”? I must have been in a nostalgic frame of mind recently when I dredged that one out for a family cookout. I tossed some canned pineapple tidbits, mandarin orange segments, and mini marshmallows together with sour cream and let it sit for a while in the fridge.

Some people at the gathering oohed and ahhed about it (obviously too young to remember that it was a staple at every picnic several decades ago), while others said it was either too sweet, or they preferred fresh fruit, thank you.

So I was left with some of this goopy salad after the outing. And, with stale bread beckoning also, I consulted Spooky the culinary feline, about combining all this stuff into a bread pudding. She said, “Go for it!” We added a few chopped maraschino cherries, for color and a little added ‘oomph,’ to the mix. And her advice was, as usual dependable, and we wound up with a darn good bread pudding. And I can’t believe I actually did this!


2 to 3 cups stale bread cubes
1 cup ambrosia salad (see below)
1 tablespoon finely chopped maraschino cherries
2 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 tablespoon butter

Place bread cubes in bottom of buttered or cooking-sprayed 1-1/2-quart (6-cup) baking dish. Gently mix in ambrosia and chopped cherries. In bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, milk, and orange juice. Stir in coconut extract. Pour liquid ingredients over bread mixture in pan. Scatter bits of butter on top. Let sit about 30 minutes. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until puffy on top and slightly browned. Serve with your favorite topping. Serves 6.
© 2008, recipe by Portia Little.
(Ambrosia: Combine equal amounts of pineapple tidbits, mandarin oranges, and mini marshmallows with sour cream until it meshes together well; let sit in fridge for a couple of hours to combine.)


Rochelle R. said...

That fruit salad is a family favorite of ours, we put coconut in it. We never have any left so won't be able to try the pudding. :).

Portia Little said...

Rochelle, I still love that salad, even after all these years. If you don't have any left, you can still make the bread pudding by adding the salad ingredients, pineapple, oranges, mini marshmallows, and coconut, if you'd like.