Friday, May 6, 2011

Tapioca Pearls in Puddings

I love tapioca pudding but I've never made any from scratch, or if I did it has been so many years that I've forgotten. Recently I spied a bag of tapioca pearls on the shelf of an Amish market I frequent, so bought some!

A search on the internet for tapioca pudding recipes brought up several, and searching for just tapioca to see what else I can do with it, brought up Bubble Tea, sometimes called pearl tea. It is something unfamiliar (Remember, I live in the sticks, LOL!) to me but sounds interesting for the possibilities. 

I decided to combine several recipes for my first tapioca pudding, and I WILL play with making bubble drinks... but that will be another post.

On to the tapioca pudding. Here's a ½ cup of pearls soaking in 1½ cups water. They will soak overnight. In just a very few minutes, the pearls have already increased in size.

The next morning, I heated 1 quart of milk with about ¼ cup of sugar, and when it came to almost a boil, I added the soaked tapioca pearls I had just drained. and about ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pearls turn fully transparent. All of the recipes I found call for more sugar (often 1½ to 2 cups total) than I am using, but since I have to cut back on sugar, I am just adding enough to taste slightly sweet.

Next: beat 3 eggs in a separate bowl, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and more sugar to taste if it needs it. (I didn't add more.) Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool enough to add the egg mixture.

After the milk mixture had cooled considerably, I tempered the egg mixture with a little of the warm milk before adding it to the rest of the cooked milked. When you do add the eggs, vanilla and sugar mix to the cooked milk and tapioca, stir thoroughly, and bring to a full boil. Remove from heat. Serve warm, or allow to cool and refrigerate.

It was lovely to have a bowl of tapioca pudding that was not full of chemicals, just real milk and eggs thickened with tapioca (which is made from the cassava root).

Options: Dust some cinnamon over a serving, or add coconut, nuts, fruit, chocolate, or whatever strikes your fancy. YUM!

ps... I'll have a fun post about other things to do with "pearls" later on when the garden is in a slow growth period and I have more time.

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