baked tapioca pudding

I love tapioca pudding but am hardly ever willing to make anything that requires nonstop stirring for like half an hour. So I was thinking, we make polenta in the oven to get around the stovetop stirring: would that work for tapioca pudding, too?

The answer is yes, it sure would. Behold, my low-stir tapioca pudding recipe of deliciousness.

In a medium oven-safe chef’s pan or pot (with an oven-safe lid), soak:

1/3 cup small pearl tapioca in
3/4 cup water

for 30 minutes. (Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.) Then stir in:

1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

On the stove, bring the mixture up to a good healthy simmer over medium-high heat. (You do have to stir pretty regularly, because it’s rather daring to bring an egg-milk mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, but it works and is faster than dawdling about over medium. It certainly helps to have a decent, heavy-bottomed pan.)

Turn off the heat, stir in:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract,

cover the pan, and stick it in the oven for 10 minutes. If the pearls aren’t cooked through, give it another few minutes … but mine were.

Eat: hot, warm, or cold, it’s all good.

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