Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tropical Fruit Ambrosia with Rum

Just a touch of rum is all you need to lift this ambrosia out of the ordinary.  If you prefer not to use alcohol, you can substitute an equal amount of either mango nectar or orange juice in a pinch.  In culinary terms, ambrosia is any citrus fruit salad, and from there the variations are almost endless.  Nearly all versions, however - including this one - are sprinkled with flaked coconut on top.  Toast the coconut ahead of time in a small skillet over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. 

  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white rum (such as Bacardi)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed ripe mango
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed kiwifruit
  • 2 tablespoons toasted flaked coconut
1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 1 minute, until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and stir in the rum and lime juice; cool completely.

2. Combine the mango and kiwifruit in a bowl; add the rum mixture and toss gently to coat. 

3. Divide the fruit mixture evenly among dessert bowls (or martini glasses, which make a beautiful serving dish for this recipe), and sprinkle evenly with the coconut.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 cup fruit, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coconut), Calories 185 

Tasting Notes:
I was a little skeptical that this recipe might just taste like a big bowl of mango and kiwi, but that was not the case.  First, because of the toasty crispy coconut on top; that rich contrast to the sweet fruit made a big difference.  Second, the rum really did add that little je ne sais quoi - an unexpected touch to an otherwise-ordinary simple syrup.  Third, I chose mango and kiwi that were at their ripest and sweetest, which made all the difference, since both can be a touch astringent when not quite ripe.  All of which combined for a wonderfully refreshing, sweet little finish to the evening.


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