Tapioca pudding is a dish that we feel has been a little lost today, but as a child, Chris remembers his grandmother serving it often. She liked to cook down fresh South Carolina strawberries with a little bit of sugar and serve it over warm tapioca pudding. Today, I add rhubarb to the strawberry compote which provides a bright, tartness to the dish and compliments the sweetness of the strawberries. This dessert is a welcome change from the heavy, often super sweet desserts that Southerners tend to serve.
To Prepare the Pudding: Combine the tapioca and water in a large All-Clad mixing bowl and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours or until the tapioca pearls are tender. Drain the tapioca in a fine-meshed sieve and place in a 3-quart All-Clad saucepan along with the milk, cream, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer the tapioca mixture until tender, 45 to 50 minutes, stirring frequently to keep from sticking. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large All-Clad mixing bowl. Ladle ¼ cup of the cooked tapioca into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Continue adding the tapioca, ¼ cup at a time until half of the tapioca mixture has been added. Pour the tapioca egg mixture into the remaining tapioca along with the lemon zest and stir to combine. Return the tapioca to the stove and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until slightly thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Cover the pudding and set aside to keep warm until ready to serve.
To Prepare the Compote: Peel the rhubarb stalks with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Slice the stalks into 1/2 -inch thick slices. (You will need about 2 ¼ cups, sliced.) Combine the sliced rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and wine in a 3-quart All-Clad saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the strawberries and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. To serve, spoon ½ cup of the pudding into an All-Clad Stainless Oval Baker and top each with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the compote. Serve warm.