Thursday, May 22, 2008
I don't know where my endless love of tapioca comes from, because it wasn't something my mom cooked while I was growing up. I hadn't even tried it until I was in high school. But it was love at first creamy bubbly spoonful.
I've been smuggling boxes of instant tapioca in my suitcase and hoarding them like gold until I discovered a bin full of what looked suspiciously like raw tapioca at the grocery store. I bought some (though it later turned out to be Sago, tapioca's close cousin) and e-mailed my mother in law for her favorite recipe. The soaking is key, otherwise these little buggers just don't get soft enough. I'm also experimenting with a chocolate version by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of good coco and almond extract instead of vanilla. YUM!
1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar (Momma D uses Splenda for her low calorie version)
2 eggs, separated (and she only uses the whites)
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Soak tapioca in 2 cups of room temperature water overnight. Drain water.
2. In double boiler, (I haven't got one of these in China, but a regular pot will do just fine as long as you stir stir stir to prevent scalding) Heat milk until just warmed. Add salt and tapioca. Continue heating till small bubbles appear at sides of pan. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for one hour. Make sure that milk mixture does not simmer or boil.
3. Separate egg whites from yolk. Beat egg yolk and sugar together until light yellow in color. Add a little of the egg mixture to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Place the double boiler over medium heat and cook until tapioca mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly fold the egg whites into the hot tapioca mixture. Stir in vanilla, serve warm or chilled.
Makes 6-8 servings