04 November 2009
Last night Kevin and I went to a dinner party where we did not really know anyone. I knew one of hostesses, but otherwise it was all very new to us. I wanted to bring a dessert, and I guessed correctly that other people would probably be bringing pie-like things. I decided to make tapioca pudding. I had never made real pudding before, let alone the tapioca variety. But it was a cold and windy night and pudding sounded cozy.
It was fun to make and everyone loved it, unless they were just being polite 'cause we were strangers.
Anyway, I changed the recipe I was following it quite a bit. Here is my version.
Hot Toddy Tapioca Pudding
3/4 cup small tapioca pearls (not instant)
5 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/4 cup brandy
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Put tapioca and cream in heavy bottomed pot. I used a dutch oven. Bring up heat until the milk starts steaming a bit, and then cut the heat and cover the pot. Let sit for an hour as a quick soak. After an hour, turn the stove back on at medium heat and whisk in the yolks, salt, sugar, cinnamon and milk.Split the vanilla pod along the seam and scrape the beans into the pot. You can throw the whole pod while the pudding cooks for extra flavor. Slowly bring up to a boil, stirring constantly. This should take about 15 minutes. You do not want to scorch the milk, so take your time. The moment it reaches a boil, lower the heat down to a simmer. At this point add the brandy and the lemon zest. Continue stirring and let simmer for 20 minutes or until tapioca pearls are nearly translucent and the custard has thickened.The pudding thickens more and more as it cools.
Serves 10-12 easily. Recipe can be halved.