Ambrosia


oatmeal-pudding-and-ambrosia

I agree, that subject is way too long. It’s the middle of my Week of Breakfasts and I decided to go big. This was the first recipe that caught Alexander’s eye and sparked this little event. As a child I never cared for oatmeal breakfasts, I always found the texture gross and the whole business rather tasteless. This dislike grew by leaps and bounds in high school res where we got it for breakfast almost daily.

Luckily for oats Alexander recently restored my faith in it by preparing delicious bowls of warm oatmeal with pecans and fresh berries. I’m sure I would have been a much more agreeable youth if berries were as readily available in South Africa as they are here in the States. I am really enjoying have it with breakfast daily.

Today’s breakfast takes a while to prepare, but you can make the oats the night before (if using ramekins) and reheat it the next morning in a pan of gently simmering water. I will give the recipe for the oatmeal here and create a different entry for the ambrosia.

For the oatmeal pudding you need to take out:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup water

2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

And for the vanilla sauce:

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

Butter four ramekins and set aside.

Toast the oats in a heavy saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the deepend a little in color and become fragrant.  Pour in the water, followed by the other ingredients for the oats.  Bring it to a boil, cover and lower heat to a bare simmer, cooking for another 5 minutes until it is soft and thick. Divide the mixture equally between the ramekins, cover with a single piece of foil and let it sit at room temperature until it firms in the ramekins, about 10-15 minutes.

While this is happening, prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and cooking over medium heat until it is reduced to about a 3/4 cup.

Next, run a knife around the inside of the ramekins, turn upside down on plates and give a light shake to release the pudding. Spoon the warm sauce over the each and serve, accompanied by the ambrosia. You can also just serve the pudding in the dish. I did not use ramekins, as I was not going to heat it up again, so I just used little glass dishes.

oatmeal-pudding-and-berries

Serving both dishes at ones did not turn out to be too much. The oatmeal pudding was rich and creamy with a delightful taste of ginger. Taking bites of the fresh ambrosia in between helped to balance the rich and creaminess of the oatmeal. It also tasted great taken with bites of pudding. A winner.

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 4 to 5 people.

berry-ambrosia1

I’ve never made ambrosia and I think I’ve probably never had it as well. I think. According to A Real American Breakfast, it is a Southern holiday dessert, but makes for a nice breakfast at any time of the year. The recipe used orange slices, but suggested strawberries too, so I decided to go with that. Because I did not have quite enough strawberries I rounded up the figure with some black berries.

For breakfast ambrosia you should find:

2 pounds berries, thickly sliced

confectioner’s sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup fresh orange juice

coconut water from a fresh coconut, brandy, orange curacao or sweet white wine (optional)

Preparing the ambrosia:

Arrange a layer of berries at the bottom of a bowl, sprinkle with some sugar and cover with a little coconut. Add another layer, using the black berries this time and also sprinkle some sugar and cover with coconut. Continue in alternating layers until there you’ve used all the berries. Pour some coconut water (or any of the alcoholic options) and the orange juice over the fruit, sprinkle with some sugar and cover with a generous layer of coconut. Refrigerate the ambrosia before serving, but not for too long, only about an hour.

I ended up halving the recipe and serving it in individual little glasses, showing off the layers of berries and coconut. It looked really pretty. A pleasant accompanied to breakfast and certainly something to keep in mind for a festive event.

berry-ambrosia2

This recipe is from A Real American Breakfast by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bil Jamison. It yields enough to serve 6 people.