I understand that there are some people that don’t like tapioca, but it makes no sense to me. Usually it’s a “texture thing.” Old fashioned tapioca has what I consider to be the glorious texture somewhere between caviar, chia seeds, and risotto. If you think you don’t like it or have only tried the horror in plastic cups from the grocery store, give this recipe a go. I have a feeling it will win you over.
I’ve made this recipe several times and like the slow cooker method a lot. Substituting maple syrup for some of the sugar and adding the spices was a first for me though and I will never go plain again. The flavor is reminiscent of horchata and Christmas and childhood bliss. Really. Further proof is how fast Aurelia can eat a bowl!
Maple Brown Sugar Spice Tapioca Pudding
Adapted from Alton Brown
1 cup medium or large pearl tapioca (not quick cooking)
4 cups cold water
3 cups whole milk
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Place tapioca in a medium bowl along with the water, cover, and let stand overnight.
Drain water from tapioca. Place the tapioca into a slow cooker along with the milk and salt. Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Temper small amounts of the tapioca into the egg mixture until you have added at least 1 cup. Then add this back into the remaining tapioca in the slow cooker. Add the vanilla, cardamom, and cinnamon, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring at least once. Transfer the pudding to a bowl or jars and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour and then place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.