Chinese New Year Baked Tapioca Pudding with Pineapple Crust [Sai Mai Bo Din]



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Our favourite dessert at Chinese restaurants is this dish — Baked Tapioca Pudding with Pineapple Crust.  Note, that there is no actual pineapple in the crust — I’m guessing the name comes from how it looks more than anything else.  We decided since we like it so much, we should try making it!  Perfectly in time for Chinese New Year — Gung hay fat choy! Gong xi fa cai! Chuc mung nam moi!



Tapioca Pudding:

  • 100 g small whole tapioca pearls
  • 500 ml homo milk
  • 4 tbsp custard powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 ml evaporated milk
  • 100 g sugar
  • 40 g unsalted butter


  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 40 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 80 g vegetable shortening
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp evaporated milk


  • Black Sesame paste, lotus paste, red bean paste, etc


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Crust Prep:

First thing we did was make the crust, as resting dough is always better than using it right away.


Grab the butter, shortening, sugar, and mix it all together.

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Add in the egg, and mix it all together.  Puour the milk after, and mix again.

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In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and baking powder all together.  Slowly add it into the wet mixture.  I did it in thirds, and it seems to work well.  Mix (can I say that word enough times??) it until you make a perfect dough!

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Wrap it up in a clear plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

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Tapioca Pudding:

Now we can move onto the good stuff!

Preheat your oven to 375 F

Cook the tapioca pearls based on the instructions on the package.  Each pack is different — some require soaking first, whereas others require longer boiling.  My pack did not require pre-soaking, and only took about 10 mins to cook.

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Once it’s ready, set it aside.

Protip: do not overcook them!

Add in the custard powder (thanks sis-in-law for this ingredient I’ve never seen before!), 200 ml of the milk, and egg in a bowl.  Mix it all together.

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In a separate pan, heat the evaporated milk, the other 300 ml of milk, sugar and butter over low heat.

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Add in the egg custard mixture, and keep stirring.  It should begin to thicken.

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Turn off the fire, and add in the tapioca pearls.  Mix together well!

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If you have an extra filling you want to add, now is the time to do it.  I love black sesame, so I made some instant dessert, and used that.


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Scoop out the custard mixture into a baking dish.

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Get the dough you made earlier, and roll it out.  Cover your custard with it, and cut in a cross-hatch pattern.


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Brush on some egg yolk to make it all pretty.

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Bake for a solid 30 minutes, until the crust is flaky.

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Ta da!  There you have it — Chinese New Year Baked Tapioca Pudding with Pineapple Crust!  This turned out okay … next time we’d probably add a bit more sweetener to the pudding, and a little less to the crust.  We’d also half the amount of crust, and bake it at a higher temperature.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Louella says:

    What size baking dish did you use? You also mentioned that you would bake it at a higher temperature? Why is that? And what was wrong with the temperature as stated in the recipe? How much more sugar would you add to the tapioca and how much would you take out from the crust? Thank you!!!


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