Tapioca pudding! What else is there to say?
Tapioca pudding might be the epitome of comfort foods. It bring memories of worn out diners that have stood the test of time, grandmother’s kitchens with smells only grandmothers’ houses can produce and simpler times.
I used to buy the stuff in the container for Ron when he was little. He loved this stuff, he called it “tappy O da pudding”. He rarely eats it now, he doesn’t care much for processed foods. Perhaps he might try eating it again now with this recipe. Pass on a love for tapioca pudding to his child.
I believe the key to a good tapioca may be starting with large pearl tapioca. No small tapioca and certainly no instant. I have had poor luck with those. The recipes always say to soak the tapioca overnight, but I only ever soak mine for about 7 hours. It cooks up beautifully, even as a double batch.
With that being said, I have also had days that I had to cook the pudding a few minutes longer because of my impatience. It’s a trade-off, a few hours of soaking time for few minutes of cooking time.
You can easily double this recipe, but unless you are feeding a crowd I do not recommend doubling it. It makes a ton of pudding. It is good warm, trust me, I couldn’t wait a minute longer and had to try some as soon as it was cool enough to get into my mouth. But, it was perfection once it cooled overnight.
When cooling, make sure it is covered with plastic wrap setting directly on top of the pudding. This prevents a skin from forming on top.
Place tapioca pearls in a bowl and fill with water.
Stir the tapioca around and drain.
Refill the bowl with water and allow to sit for at least 7 hours and up to overnight.
Drain the tapioca and set aside.
In a large sauce pan mix milk and 3/4 cup of the sugar.
Over medium heat, bring milk and sugar to a simmer.
When little bubbles start forming around the edges of the pan, add the tapioca.
Continue to simmer for 25 minutes, or until tapioca balls are mostly clear, stirring frequently.
In a bowl, combine eggs and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar.
Temper the eggs by mixing small amounts of the hot milk, sugar, and tapioca mixture until half of the hot mixture has been incorporated.
Add egg mixture to pan and stir well.
Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill.
Other old fashioned dessert ideas: