Ambrosia is a traditional Southern fruit salad and an absolutely essential part of the Southern holiday meal. It is imperative that you use freshly grated coconut and the very best oranges. Sweeten sparingly and add just enough sherry to enhance, not overwhelm, the dish. A fine Ambrosia is far greater than the sum of its parts. Sadly, today you find many versions made with canned fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries and marshmallows. This recipe is the real deal.Plus: Ultimate Thanksgiving GuidePlus: More Dessert Recipes and Tips



  • 12 large navel oranges

  • 2 ½ cups freshly grated fresh coconut (1 medium coconut)

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 3 tablespoons cream sherry

  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Using a sharp knife, peel the oranges, removing all the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranes over the oranges in the bowl.

  2. Two to four hours before serving, stir in the coconut, sugar, sherry and salt.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 1 up to 1 day ahead.

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