Sometimes I’m amazed how long some products have been around. I recently was browsing through a hundred-year-old magazine and was stopped in my tracks when I saw an advertisement for Minute Tapioca.
I did a little research and discovered that Minute Tapioca has been sold in the U.S. since 1894. By 1916 it was widely available throughout the country.
The old ad was chock full of old tapioca recipes. A recipe for Maple Walnut Tapioca particularly intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try.
Tapioca pudding is a little tricky to make because it requires lots of stirring while cooking prevent burning, but it’s well worth the effort. This classic recipe is delightful with a hint of caramel which blends perfectly with the crunchy walnuts.
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Maple Walnut Tapioca Pudding
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons minute tapioca
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 – 2/3 cup maple syrup (sweeten to taste)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
walnut halves for garnish (optional)
whipped cream (optional)
Heat milk in a saucepan using medium heat while stirring continuously until it begins to steam. Stir in the tapioca, and cook for 15 minutes while continuing to stir continuously. Midway through the cooking time, the mixture will begin to boil. When this occurs reduce heat so that there is a very slow rolling boil; continue to stir constantly. Remove from heat at the end of the 15 minutes.
Place a small amount (approximately 1 – 2 tablespoons) of the hot mixture into a small bowl with the beaten egg yolks and salt, and quickly stir. Then add the egg mixture to the tapioca, and return to medium heat and cook for an additional 3 minutes while stirring constantly. (The egg is first combined with a little of the hot mixture to prevent it from turning into scrambled eggs when introduced into the hot combination.)
Remove from heat, and cool in the refrigerator, then stir in the maple syrup. If the maple syrup does not readily mix with the tapioca mixture, beat a few seconds until combined (I used an electric mixer); then stir in the chopped walnuts.
If desired, may be garnished with walnut halves or whipped cream.