Tapioca Pudding

Total Time:
16 hr 25 min
10 min
14 hr
2 hr 15 min

4 servings

  • 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

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 66
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 & 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 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

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