Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding is a creamy tapioca pudding made with brown sugar, butter and vanilla for a comforting butterscotch pudding flavor.
I have been posting quite a few healthy recipes lately. Today’s recipe is not. It is comfort food. Loaded with butter and brown sugar. It isn’t an every day food. It is “I’m recovering from a cold, the house is a mess, my child is driving me crazy and I need something to make me feel better” food. And this Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding recipe delivered a nice does of comfort on a spoon.
Tapioca is made from the cassava plant that grows in the tropics (very popular in South American and South East Asian cuisine). Here in the US we hardly use cassava except as tapioca and mainly only as a thickener and to make pudding.
The recipe comes from Cooking from Quilt Country by Marcia Adams (affiliate link) based on the 1980s PBS series of the same name. Tapioca pudding is often made by soaking the pearls and eventually adding eggs in two batches, first the yolks then later folding in the beaten whites. This recipe does neither. No soaking and it is done cooking in 30 minutes.
WARNING: It took me three tries to finally get this recipe to work right. The problem was the tapioca. I had picked up a bag of Reeses small pearl tapioca (affiliate link) on my favorite clearance rack at the supermarket. And the first two times I made it the recipe was soup with a few little balls floating in it. Finally, I read the recipe on the back of the package and realized there was a huge problem – it only used half of the liquid that my recipe called for. Once I doubled the tapioca it came out perfectly.
Reeses is imported from Brazil and may be processed differently. I don’t know why or how. I do know others mentioned it on the Amazon reviews. When I checked other recipes, including back of package directions for other brands, the ratios were all closer to the recipe below.
So why did I make this three times to get it to work? Sorry, it isn’t because I love you, dear readers. It was because, despite it being soup twice, the taste was absolutely amazing! Rich and creamy and oh so satisfying.
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Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding
- 2.5 cups water
- pinch salt
- 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca not quick cook
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2.5 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, salt and tapioca. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar to the tapioca, lower the heat and cook for 5 more minutes. There will still be a bit of white left in the tapioca, if it is more than halfway white cook a bit longer.
- Whisk together the egg and milk in a measuring cup. When the tapioca mixture is mostly cooked, scoop out about 1/3 cup and whisk it into the milk and egg. Then whisk the tempered egg mixture into the rest of the tapioca.
- Cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes. While it is cooking, in a small saucepan melt the butter and continue cooking until it is light brown.
- Combine browned butter and vanilla with the tapioca. Pour into one 1 quart serving dish or 4-6 individual serving dishes. Let cool to room temperature and serve.
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