Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding

My mom used to make a pot of stewed rhubarb for us every spring. It didn't matter if it was served warm or cold. We ate it on its own or over ice cream, any which way we could think of. Then one year, she started adding tapioca to the stewed rhubarb. In my opinion, it made it even better - a little thicker, a little more pudding-like.

My neighbour, Nancy, loaned me a cookbook a while ago. It is a 1936 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, by Fannie Farmer. The book is fragile, to say the least, but with kid gloves I have been looking through the pages and finding some great old recipes. Rhubarb tapioca pudding was one of them.

I immediately remembered my mom's stewed rhubarb with tapioca and I got straight to work. This might be for die-hard rhubarb lovers only, but when I mentioned it to one of my friends, her husband's eyes lit up and she said, "That would be something that he would love."

I can't imagine that him and I are the only ones who would enjoy this pudding, even if I am the only one who would eat it at my house...

Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding

1/3 c. quick-cooking tapioca
1 1/4 c. boiling water
1/2 t. salt
3 c. fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/3 c. granulated sugar

1. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, mix the tapioca with the boiling water and salt. Cook over medium heat until the tapioca has absorbed the water.
2. Place the peeled rhubarb in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. When the tapioca has absorbed all of the water, add the rhubarb to the pan. Cook until the tapioca is transparent and the rhubarb is soft. Serve with extra sugar, if desired, and thin cream.