Tapioca Pudding

Total Time:
16 hr 25 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
14 hr
Cook:
2 hr 15 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 ounces large pearl tapioca, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Pinch salt
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe

Place tapioca in a medium mixing bowl along with the water, cover, and let stand overnight.

Drain water from tapioca. Place the tapioca into a slow cooker along with the milk, heavy cream, and salt. Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and sugar. Temper small amounts of the tapioca into the egg mixture until you have added at least 1 cup. Then add this back into the remaining tapioca in the slow cooker. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring at least once. Transfer the pudding to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour and then place in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.


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4.3 67
<span>I followed the recipe, except I omitted the lemon zest and put in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. It was delicious both warm or cold. No more stove top! I will double recipe next time.</span> item not reviewed by moderator and published
For those who are doubling the recipe and then having trouble with the pudding not thickening, you might try increasing the initial 2-hour cook time by 15-30 minutes. Consider... It takes a while for the contents of a slow cooker to come up to temp. When you double the amount of straight-from-the-fridge liquid, it's going to take a lot longer for the mixture to reach an actual "cooking temperature". As a result, you are no longer "cooking" it for 2 hours. You may find that adding another 15-30 minutes to the initial cook time helps. Having watched every episode of Good Eats at least once, I'm somewhat surprised that AB didn't tell us to suspend a thermometer in the mixture and start our cooking clock when the temperature reaches some target. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this for my parents who are tapioca lovers. Their comments were that it wasn't very sweet and I agree. In fact, other than some lemon flavor it was very flat in flavor and "one note" as the Chefs say. Mine was gummy also and I followed the recipe to the tee. Mine also stuck to the sides of the slow cooker as well making for more difficult cleanup. The next day I put it in a sauce pan and added around a 1/4-1/2 C more whole milk and about 1-2 T sugar. I also grated in some nutmeg and ground cinnamon. Now it has some sweetness and flavor. I probably would not make this again. Really Alton! First time I made one of your recipes and feel you fell short on this one. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't have a slow cooker, so instead I used a rice cooker set to the okayu setting, and it worked out perfectly. I substituted Cardamom and Vanilla extract instead of lemon zest. Great recipe, very creamy and delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe, (except I didn't use the lemon, put in 1/4 tsp vanilla instead put it in the crock pot, and went to buy groceries. When I got home, I put in the egg yolk, cooked a little more, and it was perfect! (Soak the tapioca in a bowl overnight on the counter, and then be sure to DRAIN IT! For dessert, we scooped it in bowl and then let it cool for a few minutes, tastes good warm with a few mini chocolate chips on top! I will make it again! Would also be good with strawberries! item not reviewed by moderator and published
First, I don't understand why those who did not follow the instructions said it turned out badly and wasn't a good recipe. (Alton stresses using whole milk and heavy cream yet someone used 2% milk and half &amp; half (!?!, wanted to know what they did wrong, and gave it a one-star rating. Recipe was easy to follow... But I accidentally used 1 cup of heavy cream instead of a half! Amazingly, It managed to turn out ok texture wise, albeit a tad bit on the runny side. What didn't translate well for me was the addition of lemon zest. The flavors just aren't jiving for me - not so bad that it's inedible... but perhaps a wee bit overpowering. Maybe I added too much? Or got some pith mixed in? It tastes like the recipe should be called 'Lemon Tapioca Pudding'... Which isn't a bad thing, just something I didn't have in mind. Any suggestions? In the end, I would definitely make/ experiment with this recipe again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
try making a meringue w/ the whites..you'll get that fluffiness you're looking for..also, just use less liquid for stiffer pud. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is the best way to cook the pudding, its so much easier than babying it on the stove top. i have never made so much pudding before since i found this receipe. i just do one thing different, i dont use the lemon zest i use either almond extrct or vanilla, depending on my mood : item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this for the first time. In the past I always did it in a double boiler. Came out perfect. FYI, since I like lemon flavor I added juice of half a lemon with the zest. Also added some nutmeg...yum. As a delicious option consider folding in fresh blueberries, raisins, or strawberries to the cool pudding. This tastes great over warm pound cake or angel food cake with warm pure maple syrup. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm not much of a cook, but I heard making tapioca in the crock pot was pretty easy. I was excited to find this recipe, as I wanted to use large pearl--plus, I felt the video was helpful to someone like me, who is not an accomplished baker. Although I learned a lot from making this recipe, I didn't enjoy the final product. As other users mentioned, I also followed the recipe precisely, just cutting out the lemon zest. The pudding was quite runny and not fluffy like I had hoped. Also, it just didn't seem sweet or flavorful enough. It was very "blah" tasting. I added some vanilla as well as adding a little extra sugar. This pepped up the taste, but the mixture was still runny, even after refrigerating. Would not recommend. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my happiness food. I use the large tapioca from the Asian section of the market. This "softens" faster, so I just soak it in the milk/cream for a half hour in the crock pot and skip the water soaking altogether. Also, I always double the recipe, use skim milk, half and half, and vanilla (instead of lemon. So much easier and fool-proof over the double boiler method. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't get this! The first time I made this recipe everything came out perfect. I decided to make a double batch this time as it went too fast last time. Problem is it is not thickening like it should. Otherwise this is a great recipe when it works out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I LOVE THIS PUDDING. It's like the tapioca pudding from when I was a kid, only better. I do add vanilla instead of the lemon zest though. The pearls are way better than the tapioca in a box. item not reviewed by moderator and published
WOW! What a comfort food dessert! If people are having trouble with their pudding being runny, the secret is all in the tempering of the egg yolks. It's the yolks that thicken things up. To temper properly, have the yolks in a small bowl, already beaten with a whisk. Scoop out the stated amount of pudding &amp; slowly add it to the yolks, all the while beating the yolks like a demon with a whisk. You have to beat while adding the hot pudding or else you will end up with bits of cooked egg floating in your pudding. Once you have incorporated all of the pudding into the egg and it is smooth, add it back to the crock pot, whisking all the while to make sure the yolks are well mixed into the rest of the pudding. The additional 15 minutes of cooking time will cook the egg thoroughly. The pudding will thicken some but will still be runny when the 15 minutes are up but it thickens up to the correct consistency once you get it completely chilled in the refrigerator. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Since cream comes in 1/2 pint (1 cup) containers and whole milk comes in 1 pint and 1 quart bottles, I use 2 cups of milk and 1 cup of cream. No leftovers! You can also double the recipe in a 5 quart slow cooker. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've always been afraid of tapioca pudding. I know, silly. But than I had to make it for a client and you can't serve something without tasting it right? So, I took a small bite and I just couldn't stop! I had to remind myself that it wasn't for me! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I did a double batch, seemed to work for me no problem. I love the lemon zest, this is what makes it homemade. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is marvelous. The best tapioca pudding I've had since my grandmother made it 50 years ago item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have tried this 3 times always making a double batch and its always runny. I will try one more time as a single batch. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was the easiest, tastiest and most awesome that I have ever made! Love the idea of making in my slow cooker. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is awesome, so easy and creamy. I did substitute vanilla for the lemon zest and it's great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I can't figure out how some are having trouble with this recipe thickening. The only think I can think of is perhaps some aren't draining the water after soaking the tapioca overnight on the counter. DO NOT add this water to your recipe. Also, if you don't use the whole milk and heavy cream, as the recipe calls for, you'll have different results. You can't alter the recipe and then be upset because it didn't turn out as it did on the show. For me, after adding the egg yolk and cooking another 15 minutes, mine started to thicken in the crock under high heat still. Of course it will thicken more as it cools properly in the fridge and it has. It's very thick and super creamy. I like the lemon zest, although I think I would prefer it just a smidgen bit sweeter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I bought a box of tapioca (7 oz large pearl) and doubled the recipe, the pudding never thickened. I soaked the tapioca overnight in the fridge. Could this be the problem? Then I watched the video later and saw that Alton left it on the counter. I will probably try this again using the original measurements. For now we will eat tapioca soup. I don't want to waste it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just tried this recipe and since my boys are allergic to Eggs and Milk, I substituted the Egg using Egg Replacer, the Milk with Soy Milk, and the Heavy Cream with Coconut Cream. It turned out really well! My wife and I thought it was fantastic. My sons liked it, however, because it was their first time having Tapioca Pudding, they weren't too keen on the chewy little tapiocas... oh well! Recipe was still a success. The pudding was on the thinner side (of thick) before it cooled down, but once it was in the fridge, it thickened up a lot and was great. About the recipe, I doubled it because the tapioca pearls I got was a 7 oz. box. I added a full can of Coconut Cream (instead of Heavy Cream), which was technically more than needed. (1.5 cups instead of 1 cup) I simply subtracted that amount from the Soy Milk (milk). Good job and thank you, Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
made this three times. Once it did not thicken enough so I added tapioca starch mixed with water and zapped in micro for a minute or two. It then thickened up. Todays batch was a little runny so I just left it to cook in the crock pot for another 45 minutes instead of the 15 minutes called for after adding the yolk sugar mixture. Made chololate tapioca with changes to this recipe. I doubled the recipe to start with using 1 cup tapioca, and four cups water. then in the morning I added six cups milk, 3/4cup cocoa ( Berry Cocoa) and one cup heavy cream. After two hours one cup sugar and three large egg yolks were tempered in. It was still too runny after 15 minutes so I left it on crock pot high for another 30 minutes at whick point it was thick and bubbling. I added a tablespoon of vanilla and stirred it in. this turned out to be the best batch of chocolate tapioca yet. One thing I learned was that it needs to be stirred occasionally throughout the cooking or it will ball up in the bottom where it could get too thick. The large pearls are cooked through perfectly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Unlike some of the negative reviews, this came out perfect for me - even though I edited the recipe! I opted to use whole milk instead of the milk/heavy cream. While I believe my pudding did come out less creamier, it was still quite enjoyable. My grocery store also only had small pearls, so I used them instead. I also opted for vanilla instead of lemon. I did weigh my tapioca, versus using a measuring cup. Comparing the two, the "1/2 cup" was less then what it weighed out to be. Like Alton says often... weighing is much more precise. Had I measured instead of weighed I don't think my results would have been nearly the same. I wondered if the single egg yolk and the tapioca would be enough to thicken it well - but it set up beautifully. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Priscilla of Waltham: 1. Don't worry about the cream unless your eating tapioca more than once a month. I make it as a special treat. Besides you need dairy fat for your body to absorb some vitamins. 2. Use a quart of milk and eliminate the cream. Keep in mind that it may not be as rich so the tendancy is to eat more of it getting the same amount of fat anyway. 3. I use three large eggs including the whites instead of one yoke. You may say what is heart healthy about that ! There is no proven evidence that eating cholesterol in egg yokes increases your body cholesterol levels. There is no impact eating one egg a day. Simply save three eggs a month for the tapioca and eat it over three days. That's my philosophy ! item not reviewed by moderator and published
To make this more heart-healthy, what can I substitute for the heavy cream? Many thanks for ideas! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this recipe twice. Flavor is excellent. Followed directions to a tee and both times it will not thicken up. Any ideas would be appreciated item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good and simple to make. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My experience with this recipe was similar to the last 2 ratings and highly disappointing. The tapioca disintegrated into the cream and milk mixture--it just seemed as there was to much liquid for the amount of tapioca that was indicated. I too used 2 eggs to make it thicker, which ended up into a gloppy goo!!! O:( Will not make it again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
For whatever reason, mine came out a little funny. It didn't take as long as two hours to cook and my pudding is this really strange and gooey texture, like silly putty. It keeps it's shape and sticks together in a giant blob in the bowl. It tastes pretty good, though i don't think it's sweet enough for me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this using small pearl tapioca, 2% milk and half and half. It never thickened up, even after cooling. It stayed watery. Put it in a pan on the stovetop, added a couple of more egg yolks and stirred it until it boiled. NOW it's finally thick! Would love to know what I did wrong because everyone loved this recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a wonderful recipe. It's nice to put it in the crock pot and let it do its thing rather than standing and stirring constantly. Great with vanilla instead of the lemon peel too! I will definitely make this again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ok, so I have always liked Tapioca, but who wants to do the work to follow the recipe on the bag of Tapioca. When I saw this prepared by Alton I was facinated! So very simple, so little time. And WOW what flavor! My family didn't care for the lemon zest texture in the smooth pudding, so I use lemon extract at the end of cooking instead. Must try! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried this recipe with a few minor adjustments. I tried the pearls like he stated the first time and the pearls were too big, for me that is. I took my Vita Mix blender and ground up the pearls the size of kosher salt. I then only had to soak them for about 1 to 2 hours. I then used a double boiler as I don't have the small crock pot. This was it. I used 2% instead of Whole Milk and Half and Half instead of HWC. Chopping up the pearls really made it look like cooked instant tapioca, but twice the taste. Solid recipe AB. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My grandma would be proud! This is the simplest way to create creamy goodness. I added vanilla instead of lemon zest and tossed in some chocolate chips. There are so many ways you can change up this recipe. I will use this for many years to come! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I introduced tapioca pudding to my kids for the first time and they loved it. I did like many others and added in vanilla after the pudding was finished. I also added fresh grated nutmeg to the top of each serving. It reminded me of being a kid. Thanks for an easy and very good recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe was super easy and very tasty. I wasn't sure about the lemon at first, but it really grew on me. The second batch I made (my tapioca was in a 7 oz. box - I HAD to make two) I added vanilla for a more traditional flavor. Now everyone in the family wants the recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was great. I especially liked not having to stand over a hot stove stirring for 2 hours. Making the tapioca in the crock pot was the best idea. You can see where I put it on my blog too: http://spiritedrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/05/where-we-make-tapioca.html item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used a vanilla bean instead of the lemon but it rocks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first attempt at tapioca pudding and my first time using a slow cooker. It was very easy, sweet, and rich. I added a few crushed cardamom pods to the soaking water and removed most of them when I drained the tapioca. It added a nice subtle flavor. I would recommend this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Finally, old-fashioned tapioca pudding that taste like Grandma's. It brings back such wonderful memories. I also added 1 teaspoon of vanilla instead of the lemon. Also, I have added 1/2 cup of chocolate chips after cooking for the final 15 minutes. Stir until they are dissolved and transfer to your serving dish(es). YUM!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have used this recipe for a couple of years. It is very good and easy if you plan ahead. Recently, I made the same recipe on the stove instead of the slow cooker because I needed it done faster. That turned out fine too. I like the lemon zest but the last time I tried almond extract with a tiny bit of vanilla extract and liked that better. item not reviewed by moderator and published
THis was my first attempt at this and it came out perfect. Clean up was a snap since I used a slow cooker liner. I simply scooped out the pudding and tossed the liner. Done! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Please serve with warm cream and nutmeg. Another variation is almond extract instead of vanilla. item not reviewed by moderator and published
For years have been trying ro make homemade tapioca, always turned out hard in the middle. This was so easy and delicious. Better hot or warm than cold. I am a huge lemon fan, but didn't think it worked well here. Next time will use vanilla. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very easy to make. I omitted the lemon zest and added a teaspoon of vanilla. Definitely a keeper. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alton always has fun with his recipes, and it is as much fun to learn from him than eat the food. This recipe is simple and produces very authentic tapioca pudding without the painful stovetop steps; in fact nothing could be easier. My only addition is vanilla to taste. Plus, using organic milk makes a richer flavor. Thanks, AB! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The recipe I use makes 12 servings. This will keep well in the fridge for several days. This is a great way to make this pudding. No danger of scorching the milk. When we make it we have 4 servings at that meal. The rest goes into individual dishes with covers, for SNACKS!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe makes a very rich, not too sweet tapioca. It takes a long time, and you have to plan ahead, since the pearls have to soak overnight. But it's worth it, as the result is a whole different kind of tapioca pudding than the stuff you buy in a store or make with instant. I doubled the recipe to fill four large dessert cups. And next time, I'll add vanilla. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is by far the best and easiest tapioca recipe I have ever made! I have always made mine from scratch, but this way better! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great! item not reviewed by moderator and published
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It was really yummy and so easy. I will definately make this one again. I used 2% milk and it worked as well. A little hard to clean up. . . but really I'm not complaining. Another good one Alton. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't really like tapioca, but got a request for it from my hubby. Well, it just came out of the slow cooker and I'm tempted to eat it before he gets home! This was so easy, first time tapioca maker, second time using my slow cooker. I doubled the recipe but used the cooking times as stated. Instead of lemon zest I added a vanilla bean split and seeds scraped out for the first 2 hours of cooking, I removed the actual pod sometime after an hour or so. It's delicious! Consistancy is perfect, and cleanup was a breeze, I simply scooped everything out, added hot water to the pot, and scraped lightly with a spatula at the caked on sides. We'll see if it passes the hubby test tho! Thanks for this super easy recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I grew up eating my mother's homemade tapioca pudding and so was anxious to try this recipe, both because of the memories and also because of the ease of the recipe. I loved the flavor, especially the extra zest from the lemon, but the texture was not quite what I remembered. I think my mother may have added some whipped cream to the finished product because it was less gummy. I also had problems with the pudding sticking to the crockpot which resulted in a difficult clean-up. I only have 2 settings on my pot, but next time I think I will lower it after it gets cooking good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I soaked my tapioca pearls in cold water as directed overnight but next morning found them falling apart. Is it supposed to be like that? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy to make, tastes good but a little more sweetness or vanilla is needed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I love this recipe since I don't have to stand by the stove and it came out very nice. I added skim milk instead of whole milk and added 2% milk instead of heavy cream but it still was good. Next time I am going to add some rasins and see what happen. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I did use smaller tapioca balls like another reviewer suggested and it came out creamy and smooth. I'm going to try coconut milk next time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was really great and so simple to make. The only changes I would make is to set crockpot on medium to high. Mine began to stick until I turned it down a bit. Next time, I'm going to try it without the heavy cream and use 3 cups of whole milk. This is a nice treat without lots of work. Thanks Alton item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've made this many times without lemon. From now on, the lemon goes in. This was so good and refreshing for summer. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was good but the tapioca was too chewy for me. My son and husband said it was terrible, but they aren't pudding fans anyway. Maybe with the small pearl tapioca it would be better. The flavor was very good, I just didn't care for the texture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I grew up loving tapioca pudding but never appreciated the work involved. My family loves tapioca pudding but I never made it often because I don't relish standing over a hot burner stirring &amp; stirring &amp; stirring knowing that it may or it may not be perfect in the end. I often ended up with runny pudding. BUT NOW, with Mr. Brown's crock pot recipe, my tapioca pudding is easy to prepare without any "babysitting" and it is ALWAYS PERFECT! We have it often and say to Mr. Brown ~ "THANK YOU, THANK YOU!" item not reviewed by moderator and published
This i so very good recipe. If you like tapioca I would definantly try it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
You think, I know pudding, but think about when your grandmother made cooked puddings. Can you remember that taste, can you? I though I could, but I put the first warm spoonful in and it swept me back 30 years. This was me at Meema's knee beeing fed from the mixin spoon. It near made me cry, and feeding it to my 11month old son gave me that warm glow. Aside from the family history, this is seriously good stuff. Just filling and subtle. Can I tell you why it's better than some packaged instant. Start with a real texture that just won't stop. Add a flavour that is not capturable in factory chemical gue. . . Just take the time and try it, warm out of the pot off the spoon you use to put it in cups. Then later from the fridge. It's not much trouble, but good. If you like this sort of natural simple recepit, try Alton's oats, biscuits and Paula Dean's lemonade. These four alone will show you what we are all missing in the pre-packaged/instant world. Sometimes your Grandma's good old salt and butter mixes are the best. Thanks Alton! BTW clean the cooker whilst hot. This is some sticky starch! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just used this recipe for the first time. I did make three changes: 1) I doubled it, 2) I added 15 minutes to the initial 2-hour cook time, and 3) instead of adding lemon zest with the egg/sugar mixture, I stirred in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract when all cooking was done. It sat on the counter in a bowl for an hour, and has been in the 'fridge for 6 hours. It's thickening quite nicely. The warm stuff left in the slow cooker was the best tapioca pudding I've ever tasted. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used the small pearls. Having read the reviews I anticipated it being thin and added a little more than a cup of tapioca and an extra egg yolk for a double recipe. Next time I will add more sugar. Stirring did not do as well as whisking to keep it from clumping...I used vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg for flavor...the lemon would be a good addition for summer. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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