Ambrosia, the food of the gods, often finds its way into family get-togethers and onto picnic tables, and for good reason. Ambrosia elevates a traditional fruit salad with the addition of marshmallows, coconut, whipped cream and sour cream. Make it your own by changing up the fruit and adding almonds or pecans. Create an adult-only version by adding a shot or two of your favorite brandy. Fresh fruit is always best, but in a pinch canned fruit will do.
Pour whipping cream into a bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attached. Some recipes call for whipped cream, while others do not. Adding whipped cream turns a traditional ambrosia salad into a dessert-like salad. Add sugar to taste.
Add flavoring such as vanilla or almond extract. Add peach brandy or a brandy of your choice to the whipping cream for an adult-only version. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
Add sour cream to the whipped cream. Sour cream adds tanginess and cuts the sugar. Whisk the whipped cream and sour cream together gently and combine. Add miniature marshmallows to the whipped cream and sour cream mixture; use vanilla or fruit-flavored, whichever you prefer.
Chop fresh fruit such as pineapple, apples, bananas, grapes and cherries into chunks and put them in a bowl. Peel and segment navel oranges, blood oranges, Clementines or mandarin oranges and add them as well; gently toss the ingredients. Use canned mixed fruit as an alternative to fresh; however, make sure to drain the fruit.
Combine the fruit with the whipped cream.
Add sweetened and shredded coconut for traditional ambrosia; or, add sliced almonds or pecan pieces, if desired. Stir the mixture to combine all ingredients. Transfer the ambrosia to a glass serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for up to two hours before serving.