Amish Tapioca Pudding Recipe
Amish tapioca pudding is creamy, sweet, hearty, and comforting pudding with squishy pearls that are fun to eat. It's really quite delightful!
What is Pearl Tapioca?
Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root, and it's usually sold as flour, flakes, or pearls. We use tapioca pearls to make Amish tapioca pudding. They are edible, gluten-free translucent spheres produced from tapioca which are used as a thickening agent.
You can buy tapioca pearls in different sizes: large pearls, medium, or mini. And there's also instant tapioca, which comes in granular form. Obviously the larger the size of the pearls that you use, the longer you will have to cook them to get them soft.
Tapioca pearls on their own are relatively tasteless. (And funny enough, my brother used to call them fish eggs 🙂 .) But the pearls will absorb the flavor of whatever they are cooked in.
In recent years, adding tapioca pearls to tea has become commonly known as bubble tea. I'm not that fond of bubble tea, but I sure do love a bowl full of creamy pearl tapioca pudding.
Tapioca Pudding with Large Pearls
You can use large pearls to make Amish tapioca pudding, although I usually use medium or mini pearls. So you will have to adjust the cooking time, and I might suggest that you soak the large pearls in water for several hours before cooking them in the milk. Soaking the pearls will help to soften them. Of course, you want to drain all the water off when they are finished soaking.
You can usually find pearl tapioca at Amish or Mennonite bulk food stores. And feel free to use any size tapioca pearls that you desire. Although, this recipe has been made using mini pearls because that is what my local bulk food store carries.
Tapioca Pearls Recipe and How to make Tapioca Pudding with Pearls
I usually use my double boiler to make this old-fashioned tapioca pudding. You don't have to use a double boiler. But it is easier to make tapioca pudding in a double boiler because you don't constantly have to be stirring it to keep it from burning.
In case you don't know what a double boiler is, it is two pans that fit together. Water goes into the bottom pan, so you are basically steam cooking your pudding. I was fortunate enough to get my Amish mom's double boiler, and it also has a steamer pan which I love using to steam vegetables.
If you don't have a double boiler, you will have to cook your tapioca pudding over lower heat and stir it quite frequently to avoid burning the pudding. You could also partially heat the milk before adding the tapioca pearls.
Pour the milk into your double boiler pan, add the tapioca pearls, stir, and cook over medium heat until the pearls are clear. For the baby tapioca, this takes about 40 - 45 minutes. It may take longer for larger pearls. Stir occasionally to keep the pearls from sticking together.
While your tapioca pearls are cooking, whisk the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a small bowl. When the pearls are clear, add a bit of the hot milk to the egg mixture to temper the eggs and avoid curdling. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the milk, stirring constantly. Continue cooking for several minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Do not let the pudding come to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool.
Amish tapioca pudding is another one of those foods that we ate quite frequently in our home. Growing up on a dairy farm, we always had plenty of milk to use. Pudding is an easy dessert to make, and it's great served with cake, chocolate chip bars, pies, etc.
A lot of the Amish do not serve just one item for dessert. Most of their meals include a lot of different dishes that complement each other. And the same is true for their dessert. They usually have several desserts that go well together. So we often had cake and pudding, along with canned peaches or fruit salad for dessert.
And, of course, tapioca pudding is also a great snack for any time of the day.
Here is my Amish Cornstarch Pudding Recipe, another easy-to-make pudding that we ate a lot of.
More Amish Recipes
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Large Pearl Tapioca Pudding Recipe
Amish Pearl Tapioca Pudding Recipe
- 1 qt. milk (4 c.)
- 1/2 c. pearl tapioca
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 2 c. whipped cream or cool whip
- Heat water in the bottom pan of a double boiler. Pour milk into the top pan of the double boiler. Add tapioca pearls. Stir.
- Cook over boiling water until the pearls are clear. Stir occasionally to keep the pearls from sticking together.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add a bit of the hot milk to temper the eggs and avoid curdling.
- When the pearls are clear, slowly add the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
- Continue cooking and stirring until the mixture begins to thicken. Do not let it boil.
- If desired, add whipped cream or cool whip to the cooled tapioca to make it extra creamy.