Tapioca - Definition and Recipes

What Is Tapioca?

Tapioca is procured from a plant which grows in British Guiana, and is known to botanists by the name of Jatropha, or Manihut Janipha. The tapioca is procured from the root of the plant which, oddly enough, contains hydrocyanic acid; and it is said that the native Indians poison their arrows from the juice of the root before they begin preparing the tapioca.

Nutrition and Usage

Tapioca is a wholesome and nutritious farinaceous food very easy of digestion. It is used for puddings, for thickening soups and sauces, and it is also simply boiled in milk or water as a food for invalids.

When mixed with other flour it will make very good bread. It should be bought of a respectable dealer, as a spurious kind is sometimes offered for sale made of gum and potato-flour.

The jar in the store-cupboard which contains tapioca should be kept closely covered, or insects will get into it.

Tapioca Recipes

Tapioca and Apple Pudding

  • Wash a teacupful of tapioca, and soak it for an hour in a quart of cold water.
  • Put it into a saucepan, let it boil, then simmer it gently until it is smooth and clear, stirring it frequently to keep it from getting into lumps.
  • Half fill a moderate-sized pie-dish with cooking apples, pared, cored, and cut into thin slices.
  • Bake these in a moderate oven until they are slightly softened, then sweeten the tapioca, flavor it in any way that may be agreeable, and pour it over the fruit.
  • Bake the pudding until the apples have fallen. Any other fruit may be substituted for apples, such as strawberries, red currants, raspberries, etc.
  • The pudding may be served hot, or in summertime, may be made with fresh fruit, turned out in a mold, and when cold eaten with milk or cream. Time, about one hour to bake the pudding

Tapioca Cake

  • Tapioca is an article that swells very much, and which requires a long time to be done thoroughly. If you boil it over too brisk a fire, it will become tough; if over a very slow fire, it will be as mellow as marrow, and then it is extremely pleasant to the palate.
  • Boil a pint of cream and a pint of milk with a little sugar and very little salt. Then add the peel of half a lemon; but if the taste of orange-flowers, roses, or vanilla, etc., should be more agreeable, use them in preference, according to taste.
  • Put a quarter of a pound of tapioca into the cream, and let it boil over a very slow fire;
  • When it is done throw in a piece of butter, and break the yolks of six eggs, which beat up with it, and let them do over the stove.
  • When you send up the first course, beat the whites of the eggs, pour them gently over the rest, and set the whole in a moderate oven.
  • If you wish to make a cake, sprinkle a mold twice over with clarified butter and crumbs of bread: mix with the preparation some dried cherries and currants, and proceed as you would do for a soufflé.
  • When done turn the mold upside-down in a dish, and send up hot

Tapioca Custard

  • Wash two tablespoons of tapioca, and boil it gently in a pint of milk until it is quite soft, stirring it frequently to keep it from getting into lumps.
  • Add a piece of butter the size of a walnut and two tablespoons of sugar, and when these are thoroughly mixed draw the saucepan on one side that the preparation may cool a little.
  • Beat four fresh eggs in a bowl, mix gradually with them part of the tapioca, then pour them into the remainder in the saucepan, and stir all over the fire until the custard is on the point of boiling.
  • Turn it out, flavor with vanilla, ratafia, almond, or any other flavoring, and when it is cold put it into a glass dish.
  • Just before serving, crush an ounce of macaroons to powder, and sprinkle them over the surface, or if preferred sift a little powdered cinnamon over the top.
  • Time to simmer the tapioca, about two hours.

Tapioca Pudding, Baked

  • Wash four tablespoons of tapioca in water, then let it boil with a quart of milk and the thin rind of a lemon or an orange, or an inch of cinnamon.
  • Pour it into a basin, let it get cold, sweeten it, and take out the peel.
  • Beat it up with three eggs and an ounce of butter.
  • Pour it into a buttered dish, and bake the pudding in a well-heated oven. The edge of the dish may be lined with puff paste or not.
  • Time to bake, about three-quarters of an hour.

Tapioca Pudding, Boiled

  • Wash two tablespoons of tapioca, and let it soak in a pint of milk for an hour.
  • Put it into a saucepan with an ounce of butter, a tablespoon of sugar, and the thin rind of a lemon or an orange, or any flavoring that may be preferred.
  • Let it boil, then stir it over a gentle fire for a quarter of an hour.
  • Pour it out, remove the rind, and let the tapioca cool.
  • Stir in with it the yolks of four and the whites of two well-beaten eggs.
  • Pour the pudding into a buttered mold, and boil or steam it until done enough.
  • Let it stand in the mold for some minutes after it is taken up before turning it out.
  • It will be necessary to handle it very carefully, or it will break.
  • Sift powdered sugar thickly over it, and send a dish of cream to table with it.
  • The appearance of the padding will be improved if it is garnished with any kind of bright-colored jelly or jam.
  • Time to boil, an hour and a half.

Tapioca Pudding, French

  • Take two ounces of tapioca, and boil it in half a pint of water until it begins to melt, then add half a pint of milk by degrees, and boil until the tapioca becomes very thick: add a well-beaten egg, sugar, and flavoring to taste, and bake gently for three-quarters of an hour.
  • This preparation of tapioca is superior to any other, is nourishing, and suitable for delicate children.

Tapioca Pudding, Simple

  • Wash and drain a teacupful "of tapioca, and put it into a buttered baking-dish large enough to hold about three pints.
  • Sprinkle over it a tablespoon of finely-grated bread-crumbs, a little nutmeg, cinnamon, or lemon-peel, and fill the dish with cold milk. Put in a piece of butter the size of a small nut, and bake the pudding in a moderate oven.
  • When the surface of the pudding is covered with a brightly browned skin it is done enough.
  • Send sugar to table with the pudding.
  • Time to bake, about two hours.
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