Tapioca Parfait Topped with a Strawberry and Fennel Compote

This is the perfect desert for relaxing after a long day of exploring.  The dessert can be quickly assembled on the trail by performing much of the prep-work at home.  The tapioca can be made prior to the trip and stored in a reusable plastic container, ready for use.

  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 quart strawberries, trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 TBSP sugar
Serves 4

Cooking Instructions - Tapioca
Combine tapioca, milk, and salt in 1 1/2 quart pan on medium high heat. Stir until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, uncovered at the lowest possible heat, adding sugar gradually.

Beat eggs in a separate bowl. Mix in some of the hot tapioca very slowly to equalize the temperature of the two mixtures (to avoid curdling).

Return eggs to pan with tapioca. Slowly bring mixture barely to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and stir several minutes at a low simmer, stirring constantly until you get a nice thick pudding consistency. Cool 15 minutes. Add vanilla. Serve either warm or chilled.

Pre-Trip Preparation

Coarsely grind the fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle. Place, with the sugar, in a small reusable plastic container.
Cut the strawberries into 1/4" pieces and place in an appropriately sized plastic zipper-bag.

Assembly Instructions

Combine the lemon juice, sugar, and fennel seed with the strawberries in the zipper-bag.  Mix, crushing the strawberries with your fingers, until fully incorporated.  Spoon the strawberry mixture into the bottom of 1/4 of a clear plastic wineglass, tapping to help settle.  Next, spoontapioca into the wineglass until approximately 3/4 full.  Continue filling the remaining space with the strawberry mixture.