Sunday, February 16, 2014

Old-Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

My children adore those store-bought pudding cups - especially the tapioca ones.  However, I'm not so in love with the list of ingredients.  Seriously - why the need for artificial flavors and colors in simple tapioca pudding? (And, I won't even begin to discuss the ingredients listed that I cannot even pronounce.) Furthermore, the last time we did purchase some, I swore to never buy them again due to the fact that there was maybe like, ten tapioca pearls in each cup. (So, basically, it was a rather crappy version of vanilla pudding.)

So, what's a mom to do?  Toss a bag of pearl tapioca in the grocery cart and whip up a from-scratch version at home.   Is it a little more time-consuming compared to grabbing a four-pack of ready-to-eat pudding at the store? Sure. But, I can honestly say that it is darn well worth it. My kiddos definitely loved it and I've already planned double the batch the next time.

The ingredient list for this recipe is a simple one - tapioca, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla.  I used Bob's Red Mill pearl tapioca. It cost just under $4 for a 24-ounce bag, which will yields many batches.  You can purchase a smaller box for a little less at most supermarkets in the pudding and gelatin section if you cannot find BRM brand.

Yields 3 1/2 cups (about 4 servings).


1/3 cup small pearl tapioca (mine was Bob's Red Mill brand)
3/4 cup water
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2  eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan. Do not drain any remaining water.

Add milk, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and lightly beaten egg yolks to tapioca and stir over medium heat until boiling. Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10 - 15 minutes. Stir often.
Beat egg whites with remaining 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Fold about 3/4 cup of the hot tapioca mixture into the egg whites, then gently fold tempered egg white mixture back into saucepan. Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes. Cool 15 minutes then add vanilla.
Serve chilled. Fruit, nuts or toasted coconut can be added at time of service if desired.

Recipe from Bob's Red Mill.

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