Tapioca Pudding with Orange Zest

Tapioca Pudding

Ya know how ya get cravings?  Yep.  This has been my craving; Tapioca Pudding.  A simple bowl of comfort food.  I haven’t had it homemade since I was a kid and even then, it was “Minute Tapioca”.  I’ve been on an, “I can make that from scratch!” kick of late and the tapioca was no different.

I found the tapioca pearls in the bulk department of my local Winco then did a little research online.  Alton is my kitchen hero so I looked for something from him first.

I made it the first time, following his directions, and it looked great as I poured it into the bowl to cool; thick and creamy and sweet smelling.  When I opened it up the next morning it was nice and thick but – no pudding!  There were the gorgeous pearls of tapioca and the lemon zest and it smelled amazing, but the pudding was non-existent.

Roommate and caregiver taste testers said, “More pudding and more sweetness!” so tonight I made it again but I doubled the pudding bits and sugar as you can see below.  It looks much creamier this time and I’m hoping for sweet and creamy success.  I’ll let ya know! 😀

***EDIT***

This morning I pulled out the pudding with great anticipation; thick and creamy with a taste of orange?  What a perfect breakfast when paired with my morning coffee!

What I found was a bowl of tapioca soup.  The flavor was dead on; sweet with that hint of orange but the goal was not a texture of sweet, semi-thick soup.

So.  My goal is to try this again.  I can’t imagine that I used too much milk.  I was really careful about the measurements.  Perhaps doubling the “pudding” part was too much.  Half again the original amount perhaps?  Anyway, this recipe is a work in progress.  If you’re accustomed to playing with recipes, please give this a try and let me know how it worked for you!  It’s totally worth the work for the flavor!

Tapioca Pudding with Orange Zest

Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 ounces large pearl tapioca, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large orange, zested and minced within a millimeter of it’s life (feel free double this)
  • Pinch salt

Directions

  1. Place tapioca in a medium mixing bowl along with the water, cover, and let stand overnight.
  2. Drain water from tapioca. Place the tapioca into a slow cooker along with the milk, heavy cream, and salt.
  3. Slice the vanilla bean in half along the length.  Use the back of the knife to scrape the seeds out.  Add the  bean and the seeds to the mixture in the slow cooker.  Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and 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 lemon zest and stir to combine.
  5. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring at least once. Transfer the pudding to a bowl 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.
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