Pudding is becoming one of my very favorite things to make. I like that it’s a slow process, if you’re doing right. It’s mindful cooking, not a 5 minute meal on your way out the door. It requires attention, and time. I like that it forces you to slow down for just a bit, to really enjoy the process.
So when I started flipping through Heidi Swansons new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, the first recipe that popped out at me was her Honey & Rosewater Tapioca. It’s the ultimate slow down and enjoy recipe, there’s lot of stirring, watching, tasting, chopping of pistachios. It’s one for a long saturday afternoon.
The end product is totally worth the wait, too. It’s creamy, with bits of chewy tapioca, brightened by lemon zest, and perfectly accented by the pistachios on top. I didn’t have any rosewater to add, but I can only imagine that it would make it even more luxe.
Also, I’m a bit smitten with Heidi’s book. It’s so beautiful, filled with her amazing photography. You can tell how much love and care when into it’s creation. I love the conversational nature of her recipes, they are so easy to understand and implement. I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more from Super Natural Every Day around here, and I definitely recommend picking up a copy for yourself.
Honey & Rosewater Tapioca
From Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day
3 cups / 710 ml milk
1/3 cup / 2.5 oz / 70 g small pearl tapioca
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 80 ml mild honey (I used clover)
2 tablespoons muscavdo sugar (i used organic dark brown sugar)
Grated zest of 1 small lemon
1/4 to 1 tsp rose water (I didn’t use this)
Chopped toasted pistachios
Soak the tapioca in 1 cup of the milk in a medium, heavy saucepan for 30 – 60 minutes. Whisk in the yolks, salt, honey, and remaining milk.
Over medium-low heat, slowly bring the mixture barely to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. This will take about 15 minutes. Decrease the heat and let the mixture fall to a gentle simmer. Keep it there, sitting, until the tapioca is fully cooked, another 20 minutes or so. The time needed can be significantly longer (or shorter) depending on the size of the tapioca pearls you’re using. The tapioca will tell you when it’s ready, if you watch carefully the pearls will swell up and become almost entirely translucent. The custardy part of the pudding will thicken dramatically as well. Continue tasting and assessing at this stage. It is even more critical to keep stirring at this point to avoid scorching.
Remove from heat, stir in the lemon zest, then let the pudding cool a bit; it will thicken more as it cools. Stir in the rose water and wait another few minutes. The tapioca tastes best served warm, topped with toasted pistachios, but is delicious cold as well.