tapioca pudding + poached rhubarb + toasted coconut

"bird and cleaver", "dessert", "poached rhubarb", "tapioca pudding", "toasted coconut"

I have feelings about this dessert. It is so simple, yet it has so much going on; both in flavors and texture. As is often the case here, rather than continue to gush and carry on about why this is so perfect, I will instead use an actual real life scenario to describe their goodness.

The names have been changed, but I assure you, the scenario is real.

  • Mr. X sits at the table about to eat his dinner. Because he is very hungry from working so, so hard, he has decided to have cheeseburgers with all the fixins' for dinner. (Yes, cheeseburgers. As in more than one! He was very hungry, so don't get all judgey!) 
  •   Mrs. X enters the room with a platter of fresh puddings. "Here, eat one!"
  •  To which he replies "But what about my burger" (yes, one was already gone)
  •  Her  response, "Well, I suppose you have to make a decision then! Don't you?
  • Mr. X quickly made his decision
  •  Inspection  of the refrigerator the following day show that only two things remain. One hastily wrapped cheeseburger with all the fixins', and one last pudding hidden near the back of the top shelf. There is some speculation as to the reasons behind leaving such a combination. Mrs. X surmised that perhaps Mr. X had intended to consume all of it in the first sitting, but thought twice about the repercussions of said choice. Instead, she mused, it was intended as a midnight snack that was forgotten about during a tapioca coma.
  • Mr. X had nothing to say about this.

So, there you have it. A dessert better than a cheeseburger. Or perhaps, the worlds best combination. This we may never know.

tapioca pudding + poached rhubarb + toasted coconut
makes 4 servings

for the poached rhubarb:
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup ( 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 water. place in a jar with tight fitting lid. shake until sugar is dissolved)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, sliced thickly
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar to taste
for the tapioca:
  • 3 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups whole milk
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pinch of salt
for garnish:
  •  toasted coconut

In a medium, nonreactive pan, combine lemon juice, zest, simple syrup and rhubarb.  Bring to a simmer over medium low heat and cook until rhubarb is cooked through, about five minutes.  Add pinch of salt, and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired level of sweetness is reached.  Allow to cool and then fill the bottom of 4 serving bowls or jars.

 In a medium sauce pan combine tapioca, milk, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt.  Cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly.  Slowly bring to a boil.  Once mixture comes to a full boil, remove from heat and let cool slightly.

 Layer pudding over rhubarb and let cool to room temperature.  Chill in the fridge for one hour or until set. Top with toasted coconut and enjoy!


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