Wednesday, November 7, 2012

recipe: "Pineapple Delight" Ambrosia

On David’s mother’s birthday in November, I like to prepare for him one of the dishes he most often associates with her.  Usually, it’s crepes with crispy bacon, syrup and cinnamon… sometimes it’s a dessert.

He always appreciates the effort which makes me want to continue the tradition every year.  Although they’ll never meet her in this life, (she’s been deceased for twenty-five years), I’m hoping that our sons John and Michael will be able to somehow connect with their paternal grandmother through these dishes. 

Next week, pineapple delight ambrosia will be making an appearance in our home.  This is an easy, no-bake, recipe that serves a crowd – you can halve the recipe (use an 8 inch by 8 inch pyrex dish instead) without difficulty.  It’s a nice recipe to make in the dead of winter, when local fruits aren’t available.

“Pineapple Delight” Ambrosia
(recipe is for a 9 inch x 13 inch pyrex / glass dish)

ingredients for base crust
·         4 – 5 (four to five) tablespoons butter, melted
·         2 (two) cups graham crumbs
·         4 (four) tablespoons granulated sugar

ingredients for butter layer
·         1 (one) cup butter, should be soft, at room temperature
·         1 (one) teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·         2 (two) large eggs, at room temperature
·         2 (two) cups icing sugar

ingredients for whipped cream/pineapple layer
·         2 (two), 14 (fourteen) ounce cans crushed pineapple, drained well
·         750 (seven hundred fifty) mL whipping cream, 35%
·         2 (two) teaspoons pure vanilla extract
·         3 (three) tablespoons granulated sugar, or more if you like (to your taste)
·         2-3 (two to three) tablespoons graham crumbs, for garnish

method for base crust
1.       Stir together graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter and mix well.  Spoon crumb mixture into 9” x 13” pan and flatten to form the base crust.  This crust is somewhat crumbly, so if you like your crust firmer, add more butter.  Place pan in the refrigerator.

method for butter layer
1.       Using a hand or stand mixer, beat butter, vanilla and eggs together.  Add icing sugar a little at a time and continue beating.  Keep an eye on the icing sugar you need, it may be more or less, as it depends on your eggs.  You should have a thick, but smooth creamy mixture.  Remember the butter in this mixture will harden once refrigerated.
2.       Carefully spoon this mixture over the base crust, taking care not to disturb the graham crust.  Refrigerate again.

method for whipped cream/ pineapple layer:
1.       Add vanilla to whipping cream and beat well.  As cream begins to fluff up, slowly add sugar and finish beating.  The whipped cream should be firm, but be careful not to over beat.
2.       Gently fold well-drained pineapple into whipped cream by hand.  Spread this mixture over the butter layer evenly.  The pan will be filled to the brim.  Sprinkle graham crumbs over the whipped cream layer.  Wrap with plastic seal and refrigerate.  Chill a few hours before serving (so the butter layer can firm up).

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