The Minute Cooking Rule To Ensure A Beautifully Set Pudding

The proof is in the pudding — a dessert that has nothing to prove. Pudding is already well-established as a delicious after-dinner treat, with recipes that range from complicated to kid-friendly. With just a few ingredients, you can channel your inner child by making an elementary school classic like dirt pudding. Bonus points if you remember the gummy worms. But the options for puddings don't stop there. 

Banana pudding makes for a classic dessert and is a great and easy way to get your banana fix, without making banana bread for the umpteenth time. Meanwhile, Taste of Home recommends 38 pudding recipes, leaving the door open for all of your favorite ingredients — everything from dark chocolate to sticky toffee to mango rice pudding is fair game. Once you have your flavors selected, the key to a perfect pudding is in its texture. The trick to making a deliciously thick, creamy, and smooth pudding comes down to one ingredient and just one minute.  

Let your pudding bubble for just a minute

Wait a minute, and let your pudding do its job. While you may be tempted to pull your dessert off the stove as quickly as possible, patience is truly a virtue. The Spruce Eats recommends heating your pudding until it bubbles and then giving it a full minute to continue bubbling. The reason for the wait? 

The pudding needs time for the cornstarch to activate. Many pudding recipes, like Food Network's, rely on cornstarch as a thickener. To make sure the starches gelatinize, the outlet recommends allocating extra time for the pudding to simmer. According to The Spruce Eats, just one minute should be enough to ensure the right pudding consistency. By letting your pudding continue to bubble, you'll help the mixture set once it hits the ramekin.

Granted, this rule doesn't apply to packaged puddings, which use modified starches (via Food Network). But while the pre-made stuff may save you time, it's really only a matter of minutes. With the one-minute rule, making pudding from scratch doesn't have to be a complicated undertaking.