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Monday, April 26, 2010

Tapioca Pudding

We recently made a trip to Bob’s Red Mill store to see what products are available and purchased some different items to experience.  My wife occasionally enjoys having some chilled tapioca pudding, so I picked up a one-pound package of small pearl tapioca.

Last night I told her I would make some tapioca and once we returned from our evening walk, I started to cook.  The first thing on the recipe was to soak 1 /3-cup of the tapioca in 3 /4-cup of water in a saucepan for 30-minutes, already I have a delay in serving.

When the tapioca finished soaking, there was just a small amount of water remaining in the pan.  To the tapioca and water, I added 2 1 /4-cups of lactose-free milk, 1 /4-teaspoon of salt and two egg-yolks that were lightly beaten.  I turned the heat to medium and stirred the mixture while it came to a boil.  Once it started boiling, I turned the heat down to low and simmered the pudding for ten minutes (occasionally stirring) as I watched the liquid thicken into a creamy custard.

About this time, my wife is asking if the pudding is ready.  No, not yet, it will be about twenty more minutes.  I transferred the egg whites to a bowl and washed the small ramekin where I had placed the whites when I separated the whites from the yolks.  By mistake, I grabbed the bowl to wipe dry instead of the ramekin and I dumped the whites down the garbage disposal.  Drat!  Out of the refrigerator came two more eggs to separate and then I am ready to continue.

While the pudding simmered, I used a hand mixer to whip the two egg whites and 1 /2-cup of sugar together until it formed into soft peeks.  When the pudding had simmered and I had whipped egg whites, I folded about 3 /4-cup of the hot pudding into the egg whites.  This is to temper the whipped whites to keep them from clumping.  Then I folded the entire egg white mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the pudding.

By adding the egg whites to the pudding, the volume of the pudding almost doubled.  I told my wife that it would be different from the instant tapioca that we normally make.  Per the instructions, I cooked the pudding for three minutes on very low heat then I removed it from the heat and let the mixture cool for fifteen minutes, almost ready!

At then end of the fifteen minutes, I folded into the pudding 1 /2-teaspoon of vanilla, and the pudding was ready to serve.  We both enjoyed a bowl of warm tapioca pudding.  The texture is very light and foamy instead of thick, and dense.  Even this morning after it chilled in the refrigerator all night, it has retained the fluffy texture.  It is very good, but it might be just a little too sweet.  I looked on the box of the instant tapioca that was in our pantry and it calls for only 1 /3-cup of sugar, so next time I may reduce the amount of sugar.

The only problem that I see is that making a single batch of Bob’s Red Mill tapioca is that it doesn’t go very far.  Next time I will have to double the batch.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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