If there is one thing that will make me love a dessert it's some kind of starch cooked in some liquid. Verena keeps making fun of me for loving all kinds of pudding - semolina pudding, rice pudding, chocolate pudding, tapioca pudding, quinoa pudding, Christmas pudding...nah, really don't like that one...
Anyhow, I have recently been obsessed with finding the perfect tapioca pudding recipe and while I haven't cooked my way through 20 batches yet I have honed in on a winner over the last couple of days.
It's sweet but not too sweet, creamy but not excessively so and the vanilla....hmm
1/3 cup Small Pearl Tapioca
3 cups Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (or 1/2 Vanilla pod if you have one lying around)
Soak the tapioca in about 2 cups of cold water (1 hour works just fine, if you pass out while watching Grey's Anatomy because you're jet-lagged and only remember the next morning the end result will be slightly softer but will be just as tasty).
Drain the tapioca and combine it with 2/3 of the milk in a saucepan. Heat over a medium-low heat until it starts bubbling (this might take up to 15 minutes). Heating the mixture this slow allows the tapioca pearls to 'cook' through.
In a small bowl or jug mix the remaining milk, egg-yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt.
Once the tapioca mix is bubbling away, add the egg-mix and stir them well.
Cook until the tapioca is translucent (probably another 10-20 minutes but don't just take it off the heat based on the time, go for when the tapioca is done).
Enjoy your tapioca pudding either hot or cold with lots of fresh fruit.