Tapioca Pudding

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A Mystery Ingredient Spells Comfort

Tapioca pudding offers a creamy, textural wonder

I enjoyed tapioca pudding so much as a child, yet never wondering what this exotic root was doing as a dessert. Now I grow “cassava” in my garden. It’s a beauty to look at, too. Tapioca is a thickening agent in flour form. As a pudding you want to buy the pearls, the smallest pearls are best. I tweaked a box recipe many times to get this balance of texture, creaminess, and just a slight sweetness. It mates well with many toppings- use your imagination! I love to dab a spoon of jam or marmalade and sprinkle with nuts.

I’m a lover of cardamom and it beautifully spices this dessert. Consider any of the other “cookie” spices: allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or a blend. Coconut milk offers an additional creamy factor when serving tapioca pudding cold.

IMG_1522
Note: use tiny pearls for pudding

RECIPE:

  • coconut milk- 2 cups, [one can]
  • half ’n’ half- 1 cup, [or 3 cups total of a full fat beverage]
  • salt- 1/4 tsp.
  • tapioca pearls- 2/3 cup, small granules [not powder]
  • sugar- 2 TBS., or to taste
  • vanilla- 1 tsp.
  • raisins- 1/4 cup, [opt.]
  • cardamom- 1/2 tsp ground (opt.)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine liquids, tapioca, and salt in a 1-1/2 qt. pot. Let stand for 30 minutes, then bring to a simmer and cook for 13-15 minutes stirring occasionally, until tapioca is fully translucent.
  2. Off heat stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cardamom. Thoroughly stir or use whisk to break up any lumps of tapioca.
  3. Cool and then refrigerate. Whisk before serving.

 

SERVING IDEAS: 

  • Marmalade or jam
  • chopped nuts
  • fresh or dried fruit, or use as a topping on other desserts
  • candied ginger, minced
  • Mint

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