I recall very few dessert recipes from my Mother’s arsenal. She wasn’t much of a baker (Betty Crocker made frequent appearances) nor did she have a sweet tooth. But this is one she prepared – and one that I am very fond of. As a child, summers on Long Island were hot and humid. I delighted in this soupy, slurpy, chilled dessert often. And why not? The tapioca pearls glimmer in a rich coconut milk broth, studded with small pieces of sweet fruit. It is satisfying and wholesome, yet surprisingly light.
Since we are headed into Fall, I should note that this dessert is just as a delicious hot or warm. And if honeydew isn’t available, mango and pears are a fragrant substitute.
Tapioca Pearls with Honeydew and Coconut Milk Broth
- 1/2 cup (75 g) small dried tapioca pearls
- 4 cup (1000 ml) water
- 1 3/4 cup (400 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water or nondairy milk ( I used almond milk)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (100 g) regular sugar (more or less to taste)
- 2 cups honeydew melon, peeled, deseeded and diced
- Bring water to a boil. Carefully place tapioca in boiling water and stir for 1 minute. Let cook for 6 minutes, covered, at full boil. After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the tapioca covered on the stove for 20 minutes.
- Drain tapioca in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water.
To make the “soup”, combine the coconut milk with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of water or nondairy milk in a large saucepan. Stir in the salt and the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
As soon as the liquid boils, turn off the heat and stir in the drained tapioca pearls. Remove from heat.
- You may serve the dessert warm or chilled. If chilled, refrigerate the soup base and fold in fruit when ready to serve.