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Tapioca Pudding with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 30 min
refrigerate until cold

Cook Time: 25 min

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Janet Fletcher

From:  Fresh From the Farmer's Market
Used with permission of Chronicle

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Tapioca Pudding with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

Strawberries and rhubarb have a natural affinity that cooks have long exploited in pies and crisps. This homespun dessert is another possibility for those times when you find the two crops at the farmers' market together. I like to serve it in a balloon wineglass so you can see the garnet red sauce underneath the pudding. You will have a lot of sauce left over, but you will be glad for it. It will keep, refrigerated, for at least a week. You can also halve the sauce recipe successfully.

For the pudding:
1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
6 tablespoons sugar
3 cups milk
2  eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the sauce:
1 pint strawberries
1/2 pound rhubarb, in 1/2-inch widths
6 to 8 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
To make the pudding: Combine tapioca, sugar, milk, and eggs in a saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Immediately remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and stir in vanilla extact. Let cool without stirring, then cover and chill. Pudding will thicken as it cools.

To make the sauce: Hull and quarter strawberries. In a saucepan, combine strawberries, rhubarb, 6 tablespoons sugar and orange juice. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cover, adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until fruit softens and forms a sauce, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure mixture doesn't boil up and spill over the pan. Uncover, stir well, then taste. Add up to 2 tablespoons more sugar if necessary, then transfer to a bowl to cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

To serve, put a generous tablespoon of strawberry-rhubarb sauce in each of 6 balloon wine glasses or compote dishes. Top with 1/2 cup tapioca.

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