by Cat, Feb 2008 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
My Dad was our “chief cook and bottle washer,” and he loved to serve a pudding as dessert. For special occasions, that pudding was tapioca, so I’ve always regarded it as the ‘queen of puddings.’
It is similar to vanilla pudding, but has soft pearls of tapioca throughout. Tapioca is made from the starches in cassava root. Interesting side note: tapioca starch is commonly used to ‘starch’ shirts and other garments after laundering and before ironing.
This recipe is adapted from one on a box of quick tapioca, and one in Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. The latter is written for regular tapioca, which has larger grains than the quick version.
I provide a range for the main sweetener, depending on how sweet you like your pudding, and I provide amounts for using either stevia OR sugar.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 2 ½ cups fresh whole milk
- 3 Tbsp minute tapioca
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp stevia extract powder (or ¼ – ½ cup Rapadura or white cane sugar)
- 1 Tbsp Grade-B maple syrup
- 1 egg
- pinch unrefined sea salt
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- zest of ½ lemon (optional)
- small bowl
- double boiler
- Combine milk, tapioca, stevia (or sugar) and maple syrup in top of double boiler.
- Beat egg with a whisk in small bowl until it begins to get bubbly, then stir into milk mixture. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place water in bottom part of the double boiler, and bring to a bowl.
- Pour pudding into top part of the double boiler, and place over the boiling water in bottom part.
- Cook over boiling water, stirring or whisking frequently, until it comes to a full boil. NOTE: the pudding may never come to a full boil in the top of a double boiler, but it should be very thick, 25-30 minutes.
- Off heat. Add vanilla, salt and zest (if using) and let cool. Stir again before serving.