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Candy-sweet maraschino cherries are perfect for classic ambrosia, but we love the way fresh cherries add a tart sweetness to this dessert.


  1. 1 (10-ounce) package of shortbread cookies, such as Lorna Doone
  2. 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided
  3. 1⁄4 cup pecan halves
  4. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  5. 1 1⁄2 cups whole milk
  6. 1 cup cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
  7. 3 large egg yolks
  8. 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  9. 2 teaspoons orange zest
  10. Garnish: sweetened whipped cream, fresh cherries, fresh orange segments, toasted coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In the work bowl of a food processer, pulse cookies, 1⁄2 cup coconut, and pecans until coarsely ground. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Add melted butter, stirring to combine. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9×9-inch removable-bottom tart pan.
  2. Bake until golden brown, approximately 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. In a medium saucepan, stir together remaining 1⁄2 cup coconut, milk, cream of coconut, egg yolks, cornstarch, and zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour into cooled crust, smoothing top with an offset spatula. Let cool to room temperature; refrigerate until chilled.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream, cherries, orange, and coconut, if desired.

By uvu44

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