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Hearty Pearl Tapioca Pudding

GF Recipe Summary

Exclusive recipe from our Gluten-Free Gourmet Desserts Cookbook collection (pages 202-203)

Gluten-Free Hearty Pearl Tapioca Pudding: A thick and rich tapioca pudding recipe that makes use of the small “pearl” variety of tapioca.

Tapioca comes in various shapes and sizes. Grocery stores usually carry the smaller granular variety that requires the shortest cook-time and yields the smallest cooked “bubbles”. Though this type of common tapioca pudding is quite good, sometimes the larger “pearl” tapioca, which yields larger tapioca “bubbles” when cooked, makes for a nice change. The resulting pudding is very thick and full of texture. (A great place to find pearl tapioca is a local Chinese supermarket.)

Gluten-Free Recipe Card and Pictures

Gluten-Free Hearty Pearl Tapioca Pudding
½ Cup Pearl Tapioca (small, ⅛" —  eighth-inch —  size pearls)
3¼ Cups Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg (beaten well)
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (optional for garnish)
Serves six.
Baker’s Tip
You will be cooking this mixture on the stove-top, and the mixture tends to expand a fair amount as you cook it, especially as it reaches a boil. So, select a pan that can hold at least 8 cups of liquid or more (to allow room for expansion). Excellent garnished with ground cinnamon, or served with some fresh dark cherries (as shown).
  1. Into a 2+ quart saucepan, place all ingredients.
  2. Cook on low heat and stir regularly as the mixture heats up, taking care not to allow mixture to burn on the bottom of the pan. Mixture should reach a light boil in approximately 15 minutes.
  3. Continue cooking another 15 minutes at just under a boil.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes, and then stir thoroughly. You should by now see large tapioca balls throughout the mixture resembling bubbles.
  5. Allow to cool further until pan reaches safe temperature to place in refrigerator; chill completely.
  6. Dish tapioca out into custard cups or bowls, and sprinkle cinnamon over top (to taste) if desired.

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