1-gallon can fruit cocktail (or equivalent — 128 ounces — in smaller cans)

Red food coloring

16-ounce tub prepared whipped topping

14-ounce bag shredded coconut

10-ounce bag mini colored marshmallows

4 (3.5-ounce) boxes banana pudding, prepared according to package directions

Vanilla wafers, for garnish

Sliced ripe bananas, for garnish

Red maraschino cherries (well-drained), for garnish

Drain the fruit cocktail and spread the fruit on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Place the fruit in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 24 hours to drain completely.

In a large bowl, stir a few drops of the food coloring into the whipped topping to tint it pink. Gently fold in the drained fruit with the coconut and marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate until needed. (Makes a generous 4 quarts ambrosia, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; it will keep up to 3 days.)

To prepare the Bambrosinana, alternate layers of the ambrosia and banana pudding in a large bowl or trifle dish, garnishing the layers as inspired with vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and maraschino cherries. Decorate the top as desired. This can be made up to a few hours in advance (to keep the banana slices from browning, brush with a little lemon water). Makes 24 servings.

Source: Adapted from Charles Phoenix.

Per serving (without garnishes): 288 calories, 3 g protein, 49 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 10 g fat (8 g saturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium.

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