Did you know that you can make your own sweetened condensed milk?
It's true. Provided you have milk, butter, sugar, and a little time, you can make sweetened condensed milk at home. It will not only give you a super sense of accomplishment and a serious something to brag about to your friends, but it also tastes amazing. That means that this homemade sweetened condensed milk will make all manner of recipes sing, from flan to Vietnamese coffee to magic cookie bars. Or, just use it as a particularly decadent dessert topping. Go ahead, you deserve it.
Homemade sweetened condensed milk also means you have control over your ingredients. Not to show off, BUT, I made mine with home-ground confectioners' sugar, homemade butter, and a great local dairy brand. Trust me, it made a difference. We couldn't stop eating this stuff.
Yes, the recipe requires quite a bit of time. But it's relatively passive time--you can keep the burner on low, and be working on something else nearby. As long as you can check and stir occasionally, you're good to go. It's a great project for while you're playing Scrabble (you can check the milk when it's not your turn!) or while reading a book on a rainy day.
How to Make Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 cups milk (whole will yield the richest and best flavor, in my opinion)
- 2/3 cup homemade confectioners' sugar (the store bought kind may have cornstarch, which might not incorporate properly) or 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Step 1: Place the sugar and milk in a heavy bottomed, medium sized saucepan. Whisk to combine. Apply medium heat, and stir frequently until the sugar has completely combined and the mixture comes to a low boil.
Step 2: Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting on your stovetop. Add the butter; it should melt fairly rapidly.
Step 3: Now comes the waiting game. Let the mixture hover over this very low heat until it has reduced to a sweetened condensed milk type of syrupy thickness. Check it out every 10 minutes or so to monitor things. Listen--this can take up to 4 hours.
Either way, you've got yourself an impressive finished product on your hands. You made sweetened condensed milk! You officially win.
What's your favorite recipe with sweetened condensed milk?