Ambrosia with Rosemary and Honey Syrup
Source of Recipe
"The Southern Sympathy Cookbook" by Perre Coleman Magness
"Ambrosia was the fruit that the gods of Mount Olympus ate to ensure immortality, so taking it to a funeral might be shutting the barn door when the horse is already out. But the beautifully layered citrus is a piece of Southern culinary history that should be enjoyed more often. Many Southerners associated with Christmas, because that's when the citrus fruits became readily available. I stick with the truly classic version, not the creamy Cool Whip and marshmallow calamity that followed. The most traditional ambrosia recipes call for oranges, coconut, and a little sugar, but I think a combination of pink-hued grapefruit and bright-tinged oranges looks very pretty indeed, and if I find blood oranges in the market, I use those too, even tangerines or satsumas. Freshly grated coconut is a wonderful addition, but I now find unsweetened flaked coconut readily available and sometimes use the big curls found at health stores, which is just so much easier. Pineapple makes a nice addition, and I buy the pre-cut pieces from the produce section. To make things interesting and a bit more modern, I sweeten the lot with a honey syrup tinged with rosemary. A glass bowl of ambrosia is a lovely feature for any buffet table."
List of Ingredients
◦ ¼ cup honey
◦ ¼ cup granulated sugar
◦ ¼ cup water
◦ 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
◦ 3 red grapefruit
◦ 4 oranges
◦ 8 ounces fresh pineapple
◦ 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Sit the honey, sugar, and water together in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is thickened. Drop in the rosemary sprigs and push down to submerge in the syrup, then cover and cool completely. The syrup can be made up to a day ahead.
Cut the tops and bottoms from the grapefruit, and place the now flat end on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut away the peel and all white pith from the fruit, then use the knife to divide the fruit into sections. Do the same with the oranges. Cut the pineapple into bite-sized chunks.
In a large glass bowl, make a layer of mixed grapefruit, orange, and pineapple, then sprinkle over half the coconut and drizzle over half the syrup. top with another layer of fruit and remaining coconut, and drizzle the last of the syrup over all. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.