slow cooker tapioca pudding

This recipe for tapioca pudding is an adaptation of one I found in Diane Phillips’
Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever with More Than 400 Easy-to-Make Recipes. The book provides inspiration for expanding the use of one’s slow cooker beyond the traditional soups and stews. And when I came upon the recipe using tapioca, I knew I had to try it.

The large pearl tapioca I purchased recommended soaking the hard beads overnight before cooking. That resulted in a couple of benefits: faster cooking and a slightly softer tapioca beads in the final product. My kids really liked it, though the smaller one wasn’t sure about the “lumps” at first.

1/2 cup pearl tapioca
4 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
grated zest of one orange
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Soak tapioca overnight. Drain. Place it in the slow cooker with the milk and sugar. Stir well. Cover and cook for two hours on low. Mix the orange zest, vanilla and eggs together. Add a little of the hot mixture to the egg mixture. Mix it well and pour it into the slow cooker. Cover and cook the pudding for 20 to 30 minutes more. Remove the cover and allow the pudding to cool slightly before serving. It tastes great warm, but you can also serve it chilled.

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