If you love Tim Burton's films, you will love making this Edward Scissorhands Ambrosia Salad from the 1990 cult classic movie. This 'fluff style' salad includes a mix of sweetened coconut, pineapple, marshmallows, maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, whipped topping, and sour cream.
History of Ambrosia Salad
The setting of Edward Scissorhands is intentionally vague as far as location and time period. There are hints of the 50s all the way through the 80s in both fashion and mannerisms. Though the movie was filmed in Florida, there's no direct reference to where the strange town is located - there's not even a name ever mentioned!
What we do know is that ambrosia salad is a popular American dish that is typically served as a dessert or side dish. Its exact origin is somewhat uncertain, but it is believed to have originated in the late 19th century and gained popularity the following century. The word "ambrosia" itself comes from Greek mythology, where it referred to the food of the gods.
The salad typically consists of a combination of canned or fresh fruits, such as oranges, pineapple, and cherries, mixed with shredded coconut and sometimes mini marshmallows. Some variations may also include additional ingredients like whipped cream, yogurt, or nuts.
Ambrosia salad eventually became a staple at potlucks, holiday gatherings, and other social events in the southern United States.
Ambrosia Salad Used As Sweet Manipulation
Though all of the neighbors are nosey and a bit pushy, Joyce tops them all. After badgering Peg into hosting a barbecue, she makes a grand announcement that she will be bringing "THE" ambrosia salad.
Later at the barbecue (as in later that same day... sheesh), Joyce approaches Edward and feeds him a comically huge bite of ambrosia, as seen in the screenshot above. Edward, still new at this socialization thing and seemingly incapable of being impolite, smiles and utters several "Mmmm"s in response. When the other neighbors come over to entice Edward with their own dishes, his mouth is still full of Joyce's ambrosia, she announces to them all that he promised to visit her house first to style her hedges.
Edward, his mouth further stuffed with bites from the neighbors' dishes, turns to her and is only able to get out a muffled, "I did?"
So, if you want to use your own Edward Scissorhands Ambrosia Salad to get what you want, just feed the target of your manipulation a gigantic bite, just like Joyce.
If you want to watch the whole scene, YouTuber Angelina Hofer uploaded it and you can watch it here.
Copycat Chick-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade would pair perfectly!
This is truly a 'dump and mix' salad with easy ingredients you can pick up from any grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Whipped topping, thawed - you can find natural versions like Tru Whip if the usual stuff isn't your cup of tea.
- Sour Cream - this adds a little tang to the salad.
- Pink gel food coloring - not required, but if you want your ambrosia salad to look just like the one in Edward Scissorhands, go ahead and use it.
- Mini marshmallows - make sure they are soft and fresh.
- Mandarin oranges - get the ones in the jar or you can peel and section your own
- Maraschino cherries - drain the juice and reserve one for garnish!
- Crushed pineapple - again, drain out most of the juice
- Sweetened coconut - for texture and flavor
Copying Ambrosia Salad From The Movie Version
In the screenshot above, you get a good look at the dish of ambrosia salad that neighbor Joyce intends to use to impress Edward. Let's look at the details:
- The Fish Dish: I searched high and low for the pink plastic fish-shaped serving dish that Joyce is using, but alas, I could not find it or anything similar enough. Therefore, I decided to place a clear glass serving dish over some colorful fabrics as a nod to the quirky colorful houses that populate the film's neighborhood.
- The Crackers: I mean, I'm not just seeing things, right? She has crackers served with her ambrosia salad? I don't think I've ever heard of serving this dish with crackers but.. okay then! Crackers it is!
- It Is Pink: Joyce's salad is undeniably pink, but the classic recipes for ambrosia don't quite give you the same hue. I added a bit of pink food coloring to the whipped topping and sour cream to achieve this effect.
- The garnish: Joyce's dish is presented with a dollop of whipped cream in the center, topped off with a cherry.
Need another potluck side dish? Make these cheeseburger party sliders!
How To Make A Fluff Style Salad
Most importantly, you'll want to make sure that the jarred/canned ingredients are drained well so that your salad doesn't end up too soupy. Also, make sure that the whipped topping you use is completely thawed out.
Step By Step Process
- Reserve a dollop of whipped topping and one cherry for garnish.
- In the container of whipped topping, add sour cream and food coloring and mix it all together
- In a large bowl, add the coconut, pineapple, cherries, and marshmallows. Mix to combine.
- Add the whipped topping mixture to the large bowl and mix to combine. Add the mandarin oranges and fold in gently.
- Transfer to a serving dish and top with reserved whipped topping and cherry. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to meld together. Serve cold as a side dish or dessert.
Variations and Substitutions
This is a versatile dessert salad that can be altered to suit different tastes. You can use pineapple chunks or tidbits instead of crushed if you want your ambrosia salad to have a more hearty texture. You can also add some chopped nuts for extra crunch. Peeled grapes and chopped strawberries are another popular addition.
If you aren't a fan of whipped topping or sour cream, fresh whipped cream or yogurt can also be used for your mixing base.
As we don't have any definitive ingredients for Edward Scissorhands ambrosia salad, you can mix and match your favorite ingredients to create your perfect dish.
Love pop culture? Try my white cake from Django Unchained!Print
Edward Scissorhands Ambrosia Salad
- Total Time: 33 minute
- Yield: 8-10 Servings 1x
Ambrosia salad, as seen in the movie Edward Scissorhands, is a sweet and fluffy fruit salad with ingredients like mandarin oranges, pineapple, cherries, shredded coconut, and mini marshmallows. It's a refreshing dessert or side dish served chilled at potlucks, cookouts, or holidays.
- 1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2-3 drops pink gel food coloring, optional
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 10-ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained
- ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 ½ cup mini marshmallows
- 1 15-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
- Reserve a dollop of whipped topping and set aside. Add sour cream and pink food coloring to container of whipped topping and stir to combine.
- Reserve one whole cherry and cut the remaining cherries in half.
- In a large bowl, add pineapple, cherries, coconut, and marshmallows. Stir to combine. Add whipped topping mixture and stir well.
- Add orange slices and gently fold them in. Transfer to serving dish and top with reserved whipped topping and whole cherry. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to let flavors meld together. Serve chilled.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: N/A
- Category: Side Dish/Dessert
- Method: No Bake/No Cook
- Cuisine: American
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Frequently Asked Questions
- What can I use other than whipped topping (Cool Whip)? You can use TruWhip, yogurt, or fresh whipped cream.
- Can I substitute the additions? Yes, you can use any combination of the ingredients listed in the recipe as well as substitute/add in peeled grapes, chopped strawberries, sliced bananas, or chopped nuts. You can even use flavored mini marshmallows as well!
- Do I have to use jarred/canned fruits? If you want to make your ambrosia 100% from fresh or homemade ingredients, go ahead and use all fresh fruit ingredients and real whipped cream or yogurt for mixing. Yum yum!
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