ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Dessert Recipes

Kids Cook Tapioca Pudding

Updated on January 23, 2013
Brainy Bunny profile image

Brainy Bunny is the mother of two. Together they read, craft, and play games for fun.

Putting the finishing touches on homemade tapioca pudding
Putting the finishing touches on homemade tapioca pudding | Source

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c small pearl tapioca
  • 3 c milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c sugar or equivalent sugar substitute
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

We recently had the opportunity to visit my parents, and despite it being spring break time, the weather where they live was still quite chilly and raw. My mother took the opportunity to teach my daughter how to make one of her favorite comfort foods: tapioca pudding.

I have to confess: my children are among those poor, deprived beings who believe that pudding is born in plastic cups and lives on supermarket shelves. They remember a distant past where occasionally pudding came in a box and I had to use that exotic implement, the whisk, to make it, but that fell by the wayside as they got older and less easily amused.

So my kids were totally stoked that not only could pudding be made at home, from scratch, but Grandma knew how to do it! The one catch? It would be made out of something resembling the stuffing in their bean bag chairs.

Make sure to use small pearl tapioca for pudding.
Make sure to use small pearl tapioca for pudding. | Source

Making Tapioca Pudding

First, we had to gather the ingredients. My mom just happened to have a bag of small pearl tapioca open and ready for use in the fridge. She warned us to make sure to buy the small pearl tapioca rather than the large pearl tapioca, because that is used for making bubble tea.

Source

Next, my daughter got busy measuring. With a little help, she measured 3 cups of milk (those gallon jugs are mighty heavy!) and poured it into a 2-quart saucepan.

Pour the tapioca pearls into the milk.
Pour the tapioca pearls into the milk. | Source
Next, add the salt.
Next, add the salt. | Source

Then she added the tapioca pearls and the salt.

A child who is tall enough can stir the pudding on the stove under close supervision.
A child who is tall enough can stir the pudding on the stove under close supervision. | Source

My mom put the saucepan on the stove and turned it to medium high heat. Then it was my daughter's turn to take over. She stirred until it was boiling, and then turned the flame down to low to let it simmer for 5 minutes. During that time, my mom added the sugar gradually, allowing my daughter to stir it in bit by bit.

The mixture will still be thin and runny when it is ready for the next step.
The mixture will still be thin and runny when it is ready for the next step. | Source

The mixture was thin and runny when it was ready for the next step -- adding the eggs.

You don't want scrambled eggs in your tapioca, so add a little of the hot mixture to your eggs to equalize the temperature before pouring the eggs into the saucepan.
You don't want scrambled eggs in your tapioca, so add a little of the hot mixture to your eggs to equalize the temperature before pouring the eggs into the saucepan. | Source

My daughter got to crack and beat two eggs in a little bowl -- always fun for kids. Then my mom stirred in a bit of the hot tapioca mixture to the eggs to equalize the temperature before pouring the eggs into the saucepan.

See how the eggs add a lovely pale yellow shade to the pudding-in-progress!
See how the eggs add a lovely pale yellow shade to the pudding-in-progress! | Source
When it is ready to cool, it will be thick and stick to the spoon.
When it is ready to cool, it will be thick and stick to the spoon. | Source

The next step was to bring the mixture just to a boil again, stirring the whole time. My mom and daughter took turns, so their arms wouldn't get tired. Once it came to a boil, they reduced the heat and continued to stir, until it magically became pudding.

The final step: adding the vanilla.
The final step: adding the vanilla. | Source

After it was done cooking, it needed to cool for about 15 minutes. My mom poured it out of the hot saucepan into a heat-safe bowl (such as Corningware) and let it cool. After 15 minutes, my daughter got to add the finishing touch: stirring in some vanilla to give it a touch of flavor.

Run water in your dirty dishes immediately, because the tapioca sticks like glue if allowed to dry!
Run water in your dirty dishes immediately, because the tapioca sticks like glue if allowed to dry! | Source

Tips

  • Rinse and soak your saucepan immediately after pouring the tapioca out to cool. Otherwise you will be left with a gluey, sticky, impossible-to-clean mess.
  • This recipe is ideal for an older grade-schooler who is tall enough and responsible enough to stand at the stove. It could be frustrating for a younger child, since there is more time spent stirring than measuring or mixing.

Sneaking in Quality Time

While the making of the pudding was ostensibly the reason for kitchen time at Grandma's, the real reason was much more important. My mom doesn't get to spend as much time with my daughter as we would like, so in addition to spending time playing and talking when we visit, my mom squeezes in extra bonding time by having my daughter help her in the kitchen. My daughter thinks she's making dinner, but she's really making memories.

And the greatest thing about that? We can all do it, every time we take a few moments out of our busy lives to spend some time helping our children master new skills.

Rate this recipe

5 stars from 3 ratings of Tapioca Pudding

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Claudia, what a great prescription from your doctor! How often does a medical professional essentially tell you to eat more pudding? I hope you enjoy the recipe.

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      My doctor recently recommended I eat tapioca (for its vitamin B content) and I am dreaming of a nice cup of homemade tapioca pudding ever since. I am starting my exciting tapioca nourishment with your recipe. Thanks! I´ll let you know how it turned out.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Tapioca pearls are "the real thing" ; they're one of several ways tapioca starch is processed. It is also available in some places as powder, flakes, and sticks, but I've never seen those forms where I live. In the US, pudding (made with small pearls) is the most popular use of tapioca, followed by bubble tea (made with large pearls). I'm sorry I can't help adapt the recipe for you, but I really don't know how to use the other forms of tapioca.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      Tapioca pearls? No, we don't get them here... would you know how to use the real thing... to make the pudding? Then perhaps I can have a go at it.. sounds good.. Thanks for the share :)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      They absolutely do! We all love spending time with my folks, and my mom does have the best recipes. I have a feeling that I may get to do another hub like this sometimes this summer, when we go back to visit again.

    • profile image

      Gina 5 years ago

      What a wonderful grandma your children have! Too bad they don't get to spend much time together...I'll bet grandma knows a lot of other good, old-timey recipes.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      There are lots of delicious extracts out there, clevercat. I bet an almond extract would work very nicely with the tapioca. If you decide to experiment with any other favors, let me know how they come out!

      Thank you for the kind words and votes, too.

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      "My daughter thinks she's making dinner, but she's really making memories." I LOVE THIS!

      And I love tapioca pudding. Mmmm-hmm! So easy! Perhaps if one ran out of vanilla they could use a different extract? I frequently run out of vanilla and forget to put it on the list. Voted useful and UP!