Tapioca Pudding with Red Wine Poached Cherries

By: Anna Ramiz @gatheredatmytable

Sugar, spice, and everything nice. The flavors and aromas of this dessert will surely get you excited for fall. 

Prep Time: 
70 minutes (includes soak time)
Cook Time: 
35 minutes

for the pudding
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup (60 g) Reese’s Small Tapioca Pearls
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup (55 g) brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 T freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick

for the red wine poached cherries
1 jar Reese’s Maraschino Cherries, stems removed
1/4 cup red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1” piece of ginger
3 whole cardamom pods
2 strips orange zest
1 T water

for the spiced pecan granola
1/2 cup (60 g) rolled oats
1 cup (115 g) chopped pecans
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg white
1/4 cup (45 g) olive oil
1/4 cup (70 g) maple syrup
1 T (15 g) brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract

1. Combine milk and half and half in a large measuring cup. Pour 1 cup into a large, heavy bottomed pot and add tapioca pearls and cinnamon stick. Let pearls soak for 60 minutes.
2. After 60 minutes of soaking, add the remaining 2 cups of dairy to the pot with the pearls and set the pot over medium heat. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally until simmering.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together brown sugar, egg yolks, and salt to form a paste. When the milk mixture is hot, slowly ladle 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg/sugar paste, whisking constantly. Carefully pour the egg/sugar mixture back into the pot, continuing to stir.
4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for 20-25 minutes, until thickened. When the pudding is ready, the pearls will be enlarged and translucent, and the pudding will be thick and creamy. Serve warm, with poached cherries and spiced pecan granola (recipes below).
5. Drain the maraschino cherries, reserving a tablespoon or two of the cherry liquid.
6. In a small saucepan, combine cherries, wine, cinnamon stick, orange zest, ginger, and cardamom pods, and 1 tablespoon reserved cherry liquid. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until the liquid is thickened and syrupy.
7. Stir in 1 tablespoon of water to loosen, remove from heat, and let cool.
8. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
9. In a large bowl, combine oats, pecans, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt.
10. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white, olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and homogenous. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until completely coated.
11. Spread the mixture in an even layer onto the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until deeply golden, stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into chunks.