To me, tapioca pudding is a comfort food. The flavors are simple, the texture is interesting, and it goes just as well served hot on cold winter nights as it does served cool on warm summer afternoons.
Tapioca pudding is versatile. Anything from berries to bittersweet chocolate can be added for a unique flavor. I chose to make the traditional vanilla to give myself (and you) a base to build from. Though, like me, you might just find that the pudding has mysteriously disappeared before you have a chance to experiment.
Adapted from Pinch My Salt
Yields approximately 8 1/2 cup servings
1/2 cup tapioca pearls (small)
2 1/2 cups milk (whole milk will provide a thicker consistency, but 2% will work just fine)
1 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
Soak the tapioca pearls in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Stir together the milk, egg yolk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan until well mixed. Add the tapioca pearls and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Stir the mixture slowly but constantly with a wooden spoon (the arm workout will be worth it). The pudding will thicken quickly. Cook the pudding for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the tapioca pearls become translucent.
Remove from heat and let cool. Add vanilla extract.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the tapioca mixture and stir until combined. Pudding may be served warm or chilled.