Stirring often while simmering over low heat are the keys to keeping the almond milk from scorching.
Author: Susan Voisin
1/3cupsmall tapioca pearls
1 1/2teaspoonscornstarch(or 1 tsp. arrowroot)
3tablespoonssugar or substitute(such as stevia or monk fruit)*
1/2vanilla beansplit lengthwise
1poundstrawberrieswashed and stemmed
1pintblueberriesrinsed and drained
Have ready: A deep metal bowl and a larger bowl, filled halfway with ice and water, that the metal bowl fits into with space around the sides.
Place 2 1/2 cups of almond milk and the tapioca into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, and then turn down the heat to a simmer. Stir well every few minutes, scraping the bottom and sides to prevent sticking. Cook until the tapioca pearls are mostly translucent, 15-20 minutes.
Mix 1 tablespoon of the reserved almond milk with the cornstarch and set aside. Add the remaining almond milk to the pan along with the sugar and vanilla bean. Increase heat and return mixture to a slow boil. Continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and pour pudding into a deep metal bowl. Remove the vanilla bean, scraping it down with a spoon to draw out some of its seeds, and place the bowl in the prepared ice bath. Stir it every few minutes until it cools, about 10 minutes.
While the pudding is cooling, cut the strawberries in quarters. Put them in a food processor along with the agave nectar and pulse until coarsely pureed. Divide the puree among 6 small glasses (8-oz. juice glasses or wine glasses work best).
Once the tapioca is cool, divide it equally among the 6 glasses, spooning it gently atop the strawberry layer. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until well chilled. Add a layer of blueberries to each parfait and serve.
I haven’t tried a sugar-free version, but I can see no reason why stevia couldn’t be used to replace the sugar and agave nectar.