Serves 3
3 cups (750 ml) milk
⅓ cup + 2 tbsp (100 ml) whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
⅔ cup (150 ml) tapioca pearls
⅓ cup (75 ml) granulated sugar
6 cups (1.5 L) milk
1½ cups (375 ml) pearl barley
1 cup (250 ml) granulated sugar
⅓ cup + 3 tbsp (120 ml) Trimoline invert sugar or clear corn syrup
2 cups (500 ml) water
1½ cups (375 ml) granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
3 firm but ripe pears, peeled and sliced
1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 ml) cocoa powder
½ cup (125 ml) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
1 tbsp (15 ml) rice flour
1 cup (250 ml) sparkling water


  1. To make TAPIOCA PUDDING: Combine milk, cream and vanilla bean in a medium-sized saucepan. Cook over high heat until it begins to bubble around the edges. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Rinse tapioca pearls under cold water to wash off excess starch, then add to simmering liquid. Cook until tapioca has softened and mixture is nicely thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make PEARL BARLEY: Combine ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir over medium heat until simmering. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally over medium heat until barley is tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. Once barley is fully cooked, turn heat to low and steep for another 30 minutes.
  4. Strain mixture through a fine-meshed strainer and transfer to an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. When firm, place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the freezer until ready to serve. Make 6 cups (1.5 L).
  6. To make POACHED PEARS: Combine water, sugar and spices in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and simmer. Reduce heat to low, add pears and simmer uncovered, until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and thoroughly cool pears in syrup. Drain pears and set aside until ready to use.
  7. To make CHOCOLATE BATTER: Preheat deep fryer to 325 F (170 C). Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together to blend. Continuing to whisk, slowly add sparkling water until well combined and batter is smooth.
  8. Add drained, poached pears to batter and gently turn in mixture to evenly coat. Using 2 forks, remove one batter-coated pear at a time and place in preheated deep fryer. Fry for about 1½ minutes, gently turning for even browning. Then remove to a separate dish and repeat with remaining two pears.
  9. To serve, place a pear alongside Tapioca Pudding and top with a scoop of Barley Ice Cream.
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