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.