Tapioca pudding is one of those old fashioned foods that I LOVE. Gimme your prunes, bran muffins, pineapple upside down cakes with neon maraschino cherries, jello I love them all. I think one of the first things I ever “cooked” was jello instant pudding. I loved the magic that happened when milk and powder was whisked together and chilled. Magic. While instant jello pudding still has it’s appeal, homemade pudding is almost as easy. All you need is a bit of milk, sugar, thickener, and flavorings. This version is a bit grown up, thanks to the extra step of caramelizing the sugar before adding the rest of the ingredients. I like to eat it a bit warm, with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream on top.
p.s. We released the trailer for my book last week, if you haven’t seen it, please check it out!
Caramel Tapioca Pudding
4 cups whole milk, divided
1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
unsweetened whipped cream, to serve
Combine one cup of the milk and the tapioca pearls in a bowl. Let sit for 1 hour.
When you are ready to cook the rest of the pudding. Add the sugar to a dry, heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook the sugar over medium heat, until it is melted and deep amber in color. Stir occasionally if the sugar isn’t browning evenly in the pan.
Gradually and carefully stir in the remaining milk, it will bubble and spit, while whisking constantly. Stir until the sugar is completely melted into the sugar. Then add the soaked tapioca.
Simmer the mixture, stirring often, until the tapioca is cooked through and translucent. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with a splash of water, then whisk it along with the salt into the pudding. Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened and the cornstarch is cooked, another couple of minutes.
Serve slightly warm, or chilled with dollops of unsweetened whipped cream.