11/15/07

Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

With the cold weather starting here in the heartland I was craving tapioca pudding. My favorite flavor of pudding... but only if it's homemade. I don't care for the chemical taste of boxed puddings so I prefer to make it from scratch whenever possible.

About two or three years ago I had bought a package of old fashioned tapioca at a Mennonite store in my hometown in Iowa. Over the past year or so I've wanted to make tapioca pudding a couple of times but I *thought* my tapioca granules were gone as I hadn't seen them in ages. Well, imagine my surprise when I was looking through my 'Christmas' stash for dried coconut and I saw my 'almost new' bag of tapioca! I was so excited I immediately added water to 1/2 cup of the granules and set them to soak. Last night we enjoyed the most delicious vanilla-y warm tapioca pudding for dessert and lucky for me there is a little leftover today for me to enjoy!

I found another version of tapioca pudding in my recipe box (I may have posted it previously?) and it's the one I made 'last time' that I didn't like as much as the one I made this time. This time around I used an old Mennonite recipe so I knew it would be delicious... and it was. It's now replaced the other version in my recipe files and I think it will in yours too!

*NOTE*
This recipe uses old fashioned tapioca granules. NOT quick-cooking tapioca nor instant tapioca. You must use the kind that soaks over night or at least for 8 hours.

Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding


1/2 c old fashioned tapioca granules
3/4 c sugar
1 quart milk
another 3/4 c sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs

Soak your tapioca in water to cover overnight. Be sure to use enough water! I would suggest about 3 cups water to 1/2 c granules.

Drain off the excess water gently. It does not need to be drained dry, just drain it briefly. A little water left in the container is fine.

It will look a little bit like icy little snow at this point.

In a saucepan over medium high heat mix the milk and 3/4 c sugar. Heat just to boil and return the heat down to medium. Add the tapioca. Whisk the 3 eggs with the second 3/4 c sugar and the vanilla until well beaten. SLOWLY drizzle the mixture into the hot milk while whisking the entire time. Do not pour quickly and do not stop whisking as you want to incorporate the eggs completely. Raise the heat just a bit to bring to a brief boil and then lower the heat back down to simmer for a couple minutes until it's smooth and thick.

Let cool a bit before eating. Can be served warm or cold. My husband prefers it with whipped cream.
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