Bruce and I made Korean pot roast the other day (a recipe that I will not share, as neither of us loved it) and it got me thinking about pudding. I know, this makes absolutely no sense until I tell you that one of the ingredients, which we did not own and subsequently had to buy, was tapioca (not the instant kind). The recipe used it as a thickening agent for the sauce. Well, it only called for three tablespoons of tapioca and we had purchased the whole bag, so…. I think that you can guess what we did? We used some more of the tapioca (about 1/2 cup, in fact) to make homemade tapioca pudding. It was easy and it was awesome! It was, in fact, way better than the Korean pot roast. So now it’s got me thinking a lot about pudding – that most basic of all comfort foods – probably made for you at some point in your life by your grandma – and I’m into it! Along with the tapioca, I’ve made grape-nut pudding and rice pudding to date, and I am eyeing a recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker for Grandma’s Banana Pudding that sounds unbelievable.
These desserts are so flavorful and fun. If you get into it too, you can even pick up some some sweet pudding dishes at your local thrift or consignment shop for just a few dollars. Then your puddings will not only be delicious but they’ll be pretty too! So I hope that you enjoy these recipes and happy Sunday.
1. Scratch Tapioca Pudding
So here’s the recipe we followed from SimpleRecipes.com. We used Reese (NOT Instant) Tapioca, but I think any non-instant brand tapioca will do. We put the pudding in stemmed water glasses and topped them with a few raspberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Yum!
- 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca (you can usually find it in the baking section of the grocery store, do not use instant tapioca)
- 3 cups whole milk (or skim milk with cream added)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Cook the tapioca: Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat. Stir while bringing to a bare simmer. Lower the heat and cook uncovered, at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually, until the tapioca pearls have plumped up and thickened. Depending on the type or brand of tapioca you are using and if you’ve presoaked the tapioca as some brands call for, this could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes of cooking at a very low temperature. Stir occasionally so that the tapioca doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Temper the eggs with a little hot tapioca: Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Whisk in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures (to avoid curdling).https://6ffc844619a9707a7a7c3ba1165fc1fc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
- Return eggs to pan with tapioca: Increase the heat to medium and stir for several minutes until you get a thick pudding consistency. Do not let the mixture boil or the tapioca egg custard will curdle. Cool 15 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Serve either warm or chilled.
2. Rice Pudding with Bourbon Soaked Raisins
I have already confessed my undying love for the Brown Eyed Baker. Her recipes are always good and sometimes great! I have shared her recipes in my previous blogs including her Crème Brulee in my blog: Unsung Heroes of the Kitchen, so it’s no wonder that I loved her recipe for Rice Pudding with Bourbon Soaked Raisins. It cooks for awhile, but it smells heavenly whilst it’s on the stove, and it’s definitely worth the hour it takes. (Quick Tip: No Bourbon on hand? Simply buy a $1 “Nip” at the local liquor store or omit the bourbon altogether).
3. Grape-Nut Pudding
I LOVE grape-nut pudding. My English Grandma used to make it when I was a girl, and I would happily forgo dinner to get straight to the dessert when it was in her house. I have made it a few times since then, but now that I am “into pudding” I am on the hunt for the best recipe. Sometimes, as things would happen and the stars align, a recipe just falls into your lap. This happened the other day while I was reading The Providence Journal and they published an article with a grape-nut pudding recipe just to tempt me. Like Crème Brulee, this one does require cooking in a water bath, and it does take awhile (about 3 hours) but, also like Crème Brulee, it’s definitely worth it. Follow this link for Jefferson Diner’s Grape-Nut Pudding to make it. No time to make it? Stop by the diner if your in the area: Jefferson Diner, Warwick, RI to sample their award winning recipe. Either way – ENJOY!