Dress up a simple Tapioca Pudding by adding a sugar Brûlée topping for a festive occasion.
The simple deliciousness of Tapioca pudding is often accompanied by a pinch of nostalgia, as it was served in most American homes in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s to eager baby-boomers. To me, the vanilla custard taste with that little extra bit of “chew” from the soft tapioca pearls creates a comfort food dessert sensation in my mouth. So why mess with this time-honored classic pudding and create Tapioca Pudding Brûlée?
Why Tapioca Pudding Brûlée?
Tapioca Pudding Brûlée isn’t really messing with tapioca pudding at all. It’s just adding a new fun topping variation, like adding a fancy accessory to dress up your daytime outfit for a night out. Dressing up tapioca pudding with a brûlée topping is no different from adding some fresh berries, whipped cream, or even a cinnamon stick to your finished pudding.
What’s great about a brûlée topping is that it pairs beautifully with that creamy-smooth vanilla custard texture in Tapioca pudding, really allowing that Creme Brûlée flavor to shine!
Truth be told, you can make this with any tapioca pudding recipe, whether from scratch or with instant pudding mixes you find at your local grocer. Here, I’ll walk you through how I make my homemade tapioca pudding from scratch and turn it into Tapioca Pudding Brûlée.
How to make Tapioca Pudding Brûlée
Soak tapioca pearls overnight in milk to soften. Then add an a vanilla bean or vanilla paste, and set the pot to boil over medium-high heat stirring constantly so the milk doesn’t scorch. The Tapioca (which is made of ground starchy Arrowroots) will release its starches that thicken the milk. Turn the heat off and prepare the eggs and sugar.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together until smooth. Now we’ll “temper” this mixture. Ladle some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Tempering the eggs helps keep them from cooking into clumps when added to the hot milk. When the mixture is smooth, slowly pour it back into the main pot of milk while whisking constantly.
Turn the heat back on and whisk until the mixture thickens significantly, but do not let it boil. This should only take a couple minutes. It should be thick enough that the tapioca pearls aren’t sinking to the bottom anymore, but are held in place by the thick custard.
Pour the pudding into your serving dish or dishes. Here you can see the pearls suspended in the custard. Perfect consistency!
What does Brûlée Mean?
Brûlée simply means burnt in French; which then conjures up all kinds of nasty memories of eating burnt food. However, Tapioca Pudding brûlée is not bitter at all! The heat from your oven broiler (or a hand-held torch) melts and caramelized a layer of sugar sprinkled over the pudding, creating a lovely ‘crust’ with which you must ‘break’ to get through to the creamy underlayer. Oooh I just love it!
The brûlée on the Tapioca Pudding Brûlée elevates the humble tapioca pudding to something extraordinary, beautiful, and fancy that you can serve your guests for any special occasion or holiday. The flavors meld together perfectly while the brûlée adds a lovely additional textural component to the chewy tapioca pearls. I hope you give this idea a try and please leave me feedback down below. Thank you so much for leaving a recipe rating as well. Enjoy!Print