Here’s my contribution to the #Berrylove Bloghop this month. Our farmers markets in San Diego are flooded with gorgeous local strawberries. My favorites come from either Carlsbad or Oceanside, about 20-25 miles north of us. We will tire of endless three-packs of berries in a month or two, but until then, strawberries rule!
My recipe for Strawberry-Tapioca Parfaits was inspired from one in a 2009 Gourmet entitled “Fruit-on-the-Bottom Tapioca Pudding”. Not a fan of fennel, I replaced the crushed fennel seeds with my favorite standby, Meyer lemon zest and juice. These cute glasses jumped off the shelf at Anthropologie yesterday, just begging to come home and have me take their picture.
I hadn’t tasted tapioca pudding since I was a kid when my mother used to make it for my Dad, who adored it. I had never made it with “real” tapioca pearls, so this was a cooking lesson for me. Larry, my stalwart recipe tester, told me that tapioca pudding was his favorite pudding when he was growing up. Who knew?
TIP: It took the tapioca 30 minutes to cool, not the 5-10 minutes described in the original recipe. Use the cooling time to prep and purée the berries.
Yields 6 six-ounce parfaits
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided use
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
- 1 quart organic strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
1. Using a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Whisk in the tapioca, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the tapioca turns opaque, about 15 minutes.
2. Whisk in the cream, 4 tablespoons of the sugar and the pinch of salt. Continue cooking until tapioca is cooked through, about 3 more minutes.
3. Transfer tapioca pudding to a metal bowl and submerge bowl into a bowl of ice water to quickly and completely cool the pudding. This will take about 30 minutes.
4. Using a food processor, pulse the prepared strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until coarsely puréed.
5. Divide the strawberry purée among 6 six-ounce glasses. Top each serving of berries with a layer of the cooled tapioca pudding.
6. Chill the parfaits in the fridge until cold, about 1 hour.