1Soak the pearls in water overnight, covered well with water. Drain the water off.
Heat the milk, cream, vanilla bean (split and scraped) or vanilla, and tapioca to a slow simmer in a heavy pot and cook for 1 hour, stirring often.
Add the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer being careful not to let the tapioca stick to the bottom of the pan.
2Put the yolks into a bowl and slowly stir in a small amount of the tapioca mixture to temper the eggs. Add abit more of the hot mixture to the egg mixture. Stir well. Then add yolks to the pan while stirring. Pour into a bowl and cool.
You can serve it warm (as I hear it is often served in the colder months) but we like ours after it has chilled several hours in the fridge at any time of year.