Skip to main content

Tapioca


When I was little, my father would make me tapioca for dessert. He would serve it to me, and tell me, “Here you go, fish eyes for dessert!” Funnily enough, it never dissuaded me from devouring that pudding. I love the texture of tapioca; the little pearls surrounded by creamy vanilla pudding. To me, tapioca pudding beats plain pudding and rice pudding by a mile.

My father used to make me instant tapioca, the kind that comes in a red box. It really isn’t instant; it takes 20 minutes on the stove to cook it. What is meant by instant is that the tapioca pearls have been broken up small enough so that they do not require pre-soaking. Very large pearls may require hours long soaking before they are useable. Small pearl requires 30 minutes before you can use them to cook; the textural improvement of the dish is well worth the extra step and wait time.

Further improving on my childhood tapioca, I use whole milk and light cream rather than skim milk or low fat milk. Is it a decadent dish? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. I would much rather have 1/2 cup serving of a truly delicious dessert than a cup serving of a mediocre one. 

I also highly recommend using vanilla beans. The little black flecks look so appealing, and the flavor is world’s away from any extract. I also like to make vanilla sugar from the pods after they have been used. I buy my vanilla beans in bulk from amazon; the price is much better than the grocery store. If vanilla beans are not an option, I recommend vanilla bean paste; you will still get those lovely black seed flecks, and most grocery stores carry it now.

I would like to encourage you to eat this warm. I am a warm pudding advocate; I eat rice pudding warm, vanilla pudding warm, chocolate pudding warm…. every pudding, I prefer warm. Perhaps this is because I am extremely impatient and want to eat my dessert the moment it is ready, but I also think the comfort factor is dialed to 11 when you eat a pudding warm rather than cold. I love eating a bowl of warm tapioca pudding by the fire, getting warmed from the inside and out; it brings me right back to my childhood. I hope you enjoy it!


Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

Method:
In a medium saucepan, add your tapioca, water and milk. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the tapioca to absorb the liquid.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 vanilla beans, split
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:
In a bowl beat the two eggs together well, until the white are incorporated with the yolks. Set aside.

Add the milk, cream, salt and vanilla beans, split with the seeds scraped out and added alongside, to the soaked tapioca. Turn the heat to medium high. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer, then turn the heat back to low. Add the sugar gradually, and cook until the tapioca pearls have plumped up, turned translucent, and the mixture has thickened. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes.

With tongs, remove the vanilla bean pods. Discard, or rinse and set aside to make vanilla sugar (add the bean pods to granulated sugar in an airtight container. After a few days, you have sugar infused with vanilla flavor). 

Pour a little bit of the tapioca mixture to your beaten eggs. Mix together well. This will temper the eggs so they will not scramble when you add them to the hot tapioca mixture. Add the tempered eggs to the saucepan, and whisk together. Continue stirring the mixture over low heat, until you get a thick pudding. Remove from the heat. Let it cool for 15 minutes.


Serve this warm, or pour in into a sealable container and press plastic wrap onto the tapioca mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Enjoy!


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Raspberry Pomegranate Jam

Tis the season to be making homemade gifts! Pomegranates are in season and their juice is a festive deep ruby red color. I knew I had to make them into a jam to give away. Straight pomegranate flavor is a little tart for me; I added raspberries for the texture of their seeds and their sweetness. This is a very simple recipe to make and will yield 6 to 7 8 ounces jars of jam or 12 to 14 4 ounce jars, if you like to give away sample sizes during the holidays. Enjoy! Ingredients: 3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice 1 cup mashed raspberries 7 cups sugar 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/75 ounce package Sure Jell Method: Sterilize your jars and lids. Set aside. In a heavy bottomed large stock pot, add the pomegranate juice, raspberries and butter. Mix well. Add in the sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil then stir in the Sure Jell. Allow to boil hard for 1 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. Ladle into the sterile jars, twist on the lids and pr

Copycat Star Crunch

I really love Little Debbie snacks but I very rarely have them. I don’t like eating things that are full of unpronounceable ingredients and preservatives. Plus, I greatly prefer to make things myself. My favorites have to be Oatmeal Creme Pies and Star Crunch. I am still looking for a perfect Oatmeal Creme Pie copycat recipe, but this recipe for Star Crunch is absolutely perfect. These cookies are a fantastic combination of caramel, chocolate, and crunchy crisped rice cereal. They keep in a sealed container for a week, or in the fridge for a month. Next time you crave  Little Debbie Star Crunch, try your hand at making your own! Ingredients: Recipe Credit: Adapted from Stella Parks 1/2 cup water 1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/4 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon vanilla paste 3 ounces of milk chocolate chips (use a chocolate for baking; some versions of “eating” chocolate contain too much fat. When your combine this chocolate and the caramel together, the

Peek-a-boo Squares

My grandma, Mimi, taught me this recipe. I used to make this with her and my mother as a child. It is my very favorite dessert. It is incredibly easy to make, and even easier to eat. My favorite part of making this as a child was dusting every bar generously with snowy white powdered sugar.  My favorite version of this dessert uses canned blueberry pie filling; I vastly prefer Libby brand over the store brand. You can make blueberry pie filling from scratch with sugar, cornstarch, bleberries, etc. but using the canned stuff is easy in a pinch and is much for nostalgic for me. Plus, I don’t notice a vast improvement over my homemade blueberry pie filling and the Libby brand; it just takes me longer to put this dessert together.  I have been known to whip up a pan of these Friday night and have them disappear by Saturday afternoon. Be warned, these things are addictive! Ingredients: 3 cups of all-purpose flour 2 cups of granulated sugar 4 eggs 2 sticks of