Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root of the plant species manihot esculenta. This species, native to the Amazon, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Venezuela is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, bitter-cassava and manioc.
4 – 6 servings
1⁄2 cup pearl tapioca
1 1⁄2 cups milk
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
1 fresh vanilla bean
1⁄2 cup sugar
1 pinch salt
2 egg yolks
 Soak the pearls in water overnight, covered well with water. Drain the water off.
 Heat the milk, cream, vanilla bean (split and scraped), and tapioca to a slow simmer in a heavy pot and cook for 1 hour, stirring often.
 Add the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer being careful not to let the tapioca stick to the bottom of the pan.
 Put the yolks into a bowl and stir in some of the tapioca mixture to temper the eggs.
 Then add yolks to the pan while stirring. Pour into a bowl and cool.
 You can it it warm (as I hear it is often served in the colder months) We like ours after it has chilled several hours in the fridge at any time of year.