To me, tapioca pudding has a homey appeal that makes me think of summertime at my grandparents’ house as a child. My grandma would make a batch of it and cover it with slices of succulent fresh peaches, and usually always a dollop of Cool Whip for good measure.
If you are usually put off by the texture of tapioca, I invite you to give this recipe, which I adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine, a try. This particular recipe is a creamy, custard-like take on the old favorite, and it might just win you over!
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Minute tapioca
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup heavy cream
Combine milk, egg and yolk, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and tapioca in a medium saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and use a sharp knife to scrape the seeds into the mixture. Drop the scraped bean pod into the pan (don’t worry; we’ll remove this later on), and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Remove the bean pod, and then scoop the pudding mixture into a bowl. Cover tightly and chill for at least two hours.
Beat the cream and remaining granulated sugar with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the chilled pudding. Serve the remaining whipped cream dolloped on top of the pudding, along with fresh summer berries.