Friday, April 29, 2016

Bon Appétit: Tapioca Pearl Pudding

I think the only time I've ever tried tapioca pudding is one time at a Chinese buffet.  I'm not sure why we never ate it when I was a child, although I seem to remember my mother making yuck faces when my dad would order it out.  I think I just assumed it was some weird thing my dad ate and left it at that.  But then I saw a pretty picture of it in a magazine, and I started wondering exactly why I hadn't experimented with this sugary delight.  I managed to find a pack of tapioca pearls at the grocery store, so I whipped up a batch.  Guess what?  Nothing weird.  It tastes just like rice pudding.  Almost the same consistency, too.  Not sure what the all the yuck faces were for.  This is going in the rotation.

Tapioca Pearl Pudding
Adapted from Bon Appétit magazine, February 2015

2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
⅓ cup small pearl tapioca (not instant or quick-cooking)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, beaten to blend
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Freshly grated nutmeg (for serving)

Whisk milk, cream, milk powder, and salt in a medium saucepan; add tapioca and let sit 30 minutes to hydrate.

Add sugar to tapioca mixture and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the consistency of a thick soup, 10 to 12 minutes. Whisk in egg yolk and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes (it will thicken slightly). Let cool, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

Divide among small glasses. Chill pudding until cold (it will thicken), at least 2 hours.  Serve topped with nutmeg.

Makes 6 servings

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