Here's a native recipe from the southeast US that combines tapioca from manioc the other really important New World grain, cornmeal.
BAKED TAPIOCA PUDDING WITH HONEY
1/2 hard tapioca pearls, or instant tapioca
1/2 cup water (omit if using instant)
1/4 cup corn meal
3 1/2 cup whole milk
2/3 cup wild flower or other honey
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
14 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter
2 eggs, beaten
1 buttered 1 1/2 qt. baking dish, or buttered individual dishes
1. Soak the tapioca if needed in the water for one hour. Drain
2. Measure out the cornmeal into a mixing bowl, add the drained tapioca, or the instant and mix well.
3. Meanwhile, combine the milk, honey in a double boiler, heat until honey is just melted, add in the seasonings, and butter. Stir until butter is melted. Add the cornmeal mixture. Mix well and cook until the tapioca is transparent and tender. Note: if using the soaked tapioca, this can take 30 to 45 minutes, stirring almost constantly. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
4. Add a little of the cooked hot mixture to the eggs to temper them. Add a little more of the hot tapioca mixture to eggs and mix again. Add the eggs back to the tapioca mixture. Immediately pour this into the baking dish or individual dishes. Place in a cookie dish filled with some water. Bake for 1 hour, checking for brownness, cover as needed. Cool to room temperature, the chill. Serve cold. These are best made the day ahead.
Bake as a flan (see above). You will need to add and melted caramel of water and sugar. If making in a traditional flan ring, as above, you can fill the middle with fresh fruit.
Substitute the honey for maple.
Tapioca responds well to stevia, substitute natural stevia for the honey.
Substitute only Organic agave syrup.
Add citrus to flavor. Orange is really, really good.
Switch out any of the spices. Native allspice never goes wrong.
Place favorite fruits underneath before baking.
Add dried fruits to the mixture while cooking tapioca. Raisins and/or dried apricots are traditional.
Cover top with sugar, after baking, take a brulee torch to it, chill and serve.