It’s cold outside. There’s white stuff swirling in the air and falling on the ground. Inside, everyone has colds.
This means comfort food. Soup. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Mashed potatoes.
Creamy, creamy pudding.
Tapioca pudding, to be exact.
Aside from flipping sort-of-meat patties on a Burger Buster grill, Marti Mickkleson isn’t much of a cook—but even she could make this old-fashioned tapioca pudding just like Mrs. Partridge used to make.
Warning: No matter how tempting it is, do not spit, flick, or otherwise attack your sister with the tapioca pearls. It will only get you in trouble with both Grandma Bertie and Mrs. Partridge. It doesn’t exactly please RachelAnne either. Marti says, “Trust me on this one.”
Mrs. Partridge’s Tapioca Pudding
- 1/2 cup seed or small pearl tapioca (not instant or minute tapioca)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup half & half 1
- scant ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Place the tapioca in a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of the milk and stir to combine. Let the pearls soak at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or fork. Add remaining 1 cup of milk, half & half, sugar, and salt. Beat until combined. Add to the mixture in the saucepan and stir well.
- Cook over medium heat 2, stirring frequently 3, until the mixture just comes to a simmer, about 10 minutes. (Don’t let it boil!)
- Reduce the heat to low 4 and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken and the tapioca pearls are softened and translucent, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
- Pour into a bowl, let cool for 5 minutes, then give it a good stir. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to keep a skin from forming and cool until ready to serve. The pudding will thicken as it cools. May be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled (let cool until room temperature before chilling.) Refrigerate any left overs.
- You can use 3 cups whole milk, but don’t try to use skim. It just doesn’t work.
- Barely medium. The low side of medium. Like, medium is in sight but you’re not quite there yet.
- Frequently. You don’t have to stir it constantly, like some recipes say, but don’t neglect it. At this stage, be sure to get the bottom and corners of the pan. The tapioca collects there. Tapioca should never be allowed to congregate.
- Keep a close eye on it. Even at low heat, it will want to boil. Don’t let it! You know what’s good for it, even if it doesn’t.
Recipe by Kay Charles/Patricia Lillie: https://kaycharles.com/2017/12/07/this-calls-for-comfort-food/