October 23, 2007

Green Tea & Tangerine Tapioca Pudding

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup small pearl tapioca (not instant)
1 teaspoon matcha powder*
zest and juice from 1/2 tangerine
1 egg

Set the slow cooker on low. Pour the milk, tapioca, matcha and sugar in, whisk until the sugar dissolves. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, or until the tapioca is soft and translucent. Stir in the egg, zests and juice. Cook an additional 1/2 hour. Serve warm.

*If you don't have matcha powder, seep 2 green tea bags in the milk for 1/2 hour before cooking, discarding the bags.

Yield: about 4 servings

Note: for more traditional tapioca pudding made in the slow cooker, eliminate the green tea/matcha and juice/zest and sub about a tablespoon of vanilla.

My thoughts:
I've always wanted to come up with a dessert recipe to make in the slow cooker (if for no other reason than to say I did) and long cooking tapioca pudding seemed like the perfect choice. It isn't a faster method, but it eliminates all that carpal tunnel inducing stirring that even so-called "instant" tapioca requires. Plain, ordinary tapioca pudding sounded sort of boring though. I was stuck thinking of a good twist when I spied a bag of jumbo sized pearls for making boba tea and since the only real difference between the pearls in tapioca pudding and in boba tea is the size, I thought I'd make a boba-inspired pudding. I was nervous about doing it in the slow cooker but I shouldn't have been. The end result was the best tapioca pudding ever. Creamy and cooked to perfection. I am never making tapioca pudding any other way ever again.