Tapioca Pudding is an old fashioned custard dessert thickened with eggs and starch from hundreds of slightly chewy tapioca pearls.
Tapioca Pudding is an inexpensive dessert that’s easy and quick to make in the pressure cooker. I usually have a package of tapioca pearls in the pantry just waiting to be made. But the directions on the package say to soak the tapioca overnight, so I don’t make it very often. Now that I can cook tapioca pudding in the pressure cooker, I don’t have to soak the tapioca.
Some people serve tapioca pudding hot. I grew up eating it chilled, and prefer it that way. My pressure cooker tapioca pudding thickens as it cools. If you wanted to serve it hot, you could simmer the custard after you’ve added the egg mixture until it thick and creamy.
The vanilla flavor really shines in tapioca pudding, so I used Vanilla Bean Paste in the recipe. It has a stronger vanilla flavor and I love the pretty little flecks of vanilla seeds. I’ve also seen recipes that add lemon zest, which would add a nice bright flavor.
I am fortunate to own several pressure cookers, and I always use a pressure cooker with a non-stick inner pot when I make this recipe because I get better results – the tapioca doesn’t stick to the bottom. Did you know you can buy an Instant Pot non-stick inner pot?
I served my tapioca pudding topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry in some pretty little trifle dishes.
- 1/2 cup Reese's small-pearl tapioca*
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In pressure cooking pot (a non stick inner pot works best with this recipe), mix together tapioca and water. Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 6 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn off pressure cooker and use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure with a quick pressure release.
Whisk sugar and salt into tapioca in pressure cooking pot.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks with milk. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into pressure cooking pot. Select sauté and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker and remove pressure cooking pot. Stir in vanilla.
Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (Pudding will thicken as it cools. ) Pour into serving dishes and chill. Optional: Served garnished with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.
*Do not use minute tapioca. Use a small pearl tapioca that has package directions that instruct you to do an overnight soak, such as Reese's Small Pearl Tapioca. If the package directions don't recommend an overnight soak, you may need to reduce the cook time on this recipe.
A reader used Reese's Large Pearl Tapioca and a 9 minute cook time and it was perfect.
For Bob's Red Mill small pearl tapioca - Carol shared her method: spray 7×3-inch cake pan with cooking spray. Use 1 1/2 cups water with 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca-give that a quick stir in the cake pan and cover the pan with foil. Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooker pot and place the trivet in the pot. Using a foil sling, place the cake pan on the trivet, lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and 6 minutes cook time. When the timer beeps, use Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes, then release any leftover pressure. Remove the cake pan from the pressure cooker, discard the water and dry out the cooking pot. Scrape the cooked tapioca mixture into the cooking pot and stir in the sugar and salt (I cut the sugar down to 1/3 cup-just a personal preference). Also, I use the whole eggs in the pudding rather than just the yolks. I whisk the eggs really well with the milk then stir them into the tapioca. Select :”Sauté” and stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a bubble. I let the pudding cook 1 1/2-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken up nicely. Shut off the pressure cooker, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla until well combined. Using a silicone spatula, I scrape the pudding into a serving bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the top of the pudding so that it won’t form a “skin” on top. Once the pudding has cooled to room temperature, I move the pudding to the refrigerator and allow it to chill before serving.