There is just something about a custard based dessert to make you feel all warm and comfortable. I found a Melissa Clark recipe from the NY Times and thought I 'have to make this one'. Baked Tapioca Pudding with a Brûlée top sounded good! Looking through the pantry sent me hunting for Pearl Tapioca. I had a box of instant, I didn't think this was going to produce the same results in her photo. No luck at Walmart and Kroger, and then the 'old man' reminded me of the new bulk store in Georgetown, Mill Stone Market. They had Seed Tapioca, I seem to remember they are the same thing.
FYI, Mill Stone Market has an in-house bakery and when I walked in I was hit by fresh bread baking, delish. She also had a tray of chocolate chip cookies baking away. They feature a daily soup and sandwich. There are little tables to eat in, and one of my buddies said when she stopped in for lunch after a yoga class, all tables had filled up at noon.
If you think this recipe sounds like a winner to you, click on the recipe title link, and you too can find all the secrets to making this recipe. I did use a Bain Marie to ensure an even bake just like Melissa Clark suggested.
Always on the ready to fire up my blow torch, I did Brûlée the top with some Demerara sugar. My son deemed this dessert the Poor Man's Crème Brûlée.