So I recently did a test run on making tapioca pudding from scratch.
Tapioca is balls of compress yucca. Yucca, is a waxy root that cooks much like potatoes, only it takes a lot more prep to make the editable. Tapioca is easy and most of the recipes out there way over do it.
tapioca pearls (I use medium)
Tapioca is it’s own thickening agent. You don’t need eggs, cornstarch, gelatin or anything else.
Take about 1/3 cup of pearls and put them in a sauce pan. Add enough water to cover them. Let set for 30 minutes to soak. This is the most important step. If you use bigger pearls, soak them for an hour or more. Same if you use more than 1/3 cup. If you use less or small pearls, don’t soak less that thirty minutes.
Why must you do this?
1) Unsoaked tapioca will be like eating rocks. I may not like my teeth, but I like eating.
2) Soaking releases some of the starch for thickening.
The more tapioca you use, the thicker the pudding will be. The less, the more creamy. You may have to experiment to get the texture you desire. If the texture is perfectly creamy right off the stove, it’s going to be chewy if you refrigerate it. So if you plan to refrigerate your pudding, use less tapioca. You’ve been warned.
So once it’s all soaked. Add cream. I use heavy whipping cream. Milk did not work well at all. It tasted burnt, and watery. Half & Half turned out the same as milk. Get the heavy cream. Think of it as your sat fat intake for the day. The cream should be enough to cover the tapioca, and then some. Give it a stir and turn the heat on the stove to medium low. (note: if you want chocolate, add it here, use squares that melt.)
Stir it every few minutes. Don’t turn up the heat. The when the pudding starts to thicken add a tsp of Vanilla. If you want cinnamon, nutmeg or such, add it with the vanilla. Take off the heat and serve.