Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Making Condensed Milk Without Powdered Milk

I normally just buy condensed milk.  It's cheap and delicious.  To be honest, I think condensed milk tastes BETTER than dulce de leche, and if it had a better name like dulce de leche or confiture de lait, as it's known in French, it'd probably be touted as a finer culinary product.  Anyway, my local Korean grocery store sells condensed milk for 7,000 won ($7).  I know condensed milk doesn't cost more than $2 in the states, and thankfully the Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon sells it for 2,500 won.

Before trying to make condensed milk, I didn't know condensed milk was made from powdered milk.  Almost every google search I punched in returned recipes using powdered milk or sometimes evaporated milk.  This made no sense to me since condensed milk sounds like it should be made from real milk.  So I found one recipe outlining how to make condensed milk from un-scienced milk.  I adapted the technique a bit and made the butter optional.

Condensed Milk Recipe
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons butter (optional)

Whisk the milk, sugar, and vanilla together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan (a thin one will scorch the milk).  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat.  Keep the heat quite low and stir often.  If you keep going like this for two hours, you'll have reduced the mixture by about half.  I sped this up by keeping the heat slightly above low and watching it to make sure it didn't boil over.  It took about an hour.  

After the mixture has reduced, it won't look thick at all.  It will thicken up once you chill it.  If you'd like a thicker texture like what you get out of a can, add in the butter.

I never eat this alone, but I eat gobs of it drizzled on any dessert I can get my hands on.  Most recently, I ate it all over an avocado smoothie.


  1. Do you think you'll get similar results using a milk substitute, such as almond milk?

    1. I would believe so because it's still milk

  2. Is the vanilla necessary?

    1. No, it's not. Without it, the condensed milk won't taste great on its own since boiled milk never tastes that awesome. Maybe it's a personal preference thing. But if you're using the condensed milk in a recipe, you definitely don't need the vanilla since the final product won't be relying on the condensed milk for flavor. Good luck :)

  3. Can I increase the heat to a little bit over medium to speed it up??



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