I've been on a pudding kick. For whatever reason, I've just been craving pudding. I must be getting old. Isn't pudding an old person thing? Or maybe I'm regressing. (Puddiiiiing POPS!).
The sad thing is at the particular intersection of food craving dilemma, it wasn't delightfully creamy chocolate pudding that I wanted, it was... tapioca. Oh tapioca (le sigh). It's so weirdly delicious. I'm slightly ashamed to say I really enjoy it; however, I'll risk public embarrassment in order to bring you this recipe, which I gently borrowed from Alton Brown with a few tweaks.
I'm sorry... I had to.********************
Makes six servings
3 1/2 ounces large pearl tapioca (approximately 1/2 cup)
2 cups cold water
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Pinch of kosher salt
1. Place tapioca in a medium mixing bowl along with the water. Cover and allow to stand overnight.
2. Drain water from the tapioca. Place the tapioca into a slow cooker along with the milk, heavy cream, vanilla bean (or 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract) and salt. Cook on high for two hours, stirring occasionally.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and sugar. Temper small amounts of the tapioca into the egg mixture until you have at least one cup. Add this mixture back into the remaining tapioca in the slow cooker. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring at least once.
4. Transfer the pudding to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Allow to cool at room temperature for one hour and then place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.