Why Stirring Pudding May Actually Ruin It

American pudding is generally a simple, sweet treat that stirs up memories of childhood. Whether that means a traditional pudding made with a thickener like cornstarch, milk, and sugar (via The Spruce Eats), a plastic spoon and a prepackaged single serving of it, or that made from the Jell-O instant pudding variety, pudding is a comfort food we love. Of course, Food52 has been lobbying for more "pudding love" since 2017 when they performed a search on Instagram, discovering that pudding is not the darling dessert of the social media platform. In fact, Food52 reports that pudding only clocked in with a mere 1.8 million posts. It sounds like a lot, but pudding posts paled next to pie posts which numbered 3.6 million, and cookies reigned supreme with 13 million posts. Pudding is so overlooked.

But it shouldn't be. Pudding can be effortlessly sophisticated or surprisingly simple. A classic homemade banana pudding is a wonderful, cool, and creamy way to end a summer dinner party. Ina Garten has even created a decadent brownie pudding (per the Kitchn) that is perfect for wrapping up a romantic meal with a loved one. But regardless of where or when you eat your pudding, creating it isn't without its pitfalls. According to Taste of Home, you should actually skip stirring your pudding, and here's why.

It can change the texture

Taste of Home explains that too much stirring is the great enemy of pudding. This is because stirring can change the texture of your custard-like dessert, and not for the better. Taste of Home notes that once you've started chilling your pudding, it's time to adopt a laissez-faire philosophy, AKA keeping your hands and all utensils away from this cool treat. And, when you do decide your pudding needs a quick turn of the spoon, you should shun the wooden version and instead reach for the whisk. A wire whisk will help ensure your pudding is lump-free and achieves the volume you like to see.

But just how much should you mix your pudding? The answer is not so easy. Baking Kneads points out that if you mix your pudding too much, it can also become watery. However, if you don't mix it enough, you will have the other extreme where your ingredients were not properly combined. Neither of these is ideal. Baking Kneads recommends really paying attention to the frequency that you are stirring the ingredients for when it looks thick and luscious.