Dulce de leche. The words sound so rich, so dreamy. Just reading them makes my mouth water. This delicious, creamy sauce is made by slowly heating and caramelizing sweetened milk and sugar. Traditionally the process is very slow and includes a lot of stirring, requiring you to stand at the saucepan while the mixture caramelizes. Some people make it by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water. I’ve always hesitated to do this, however, knowing the potential dangers of an exploding can. Recently my friend Jen shared an easier method with me for creating dulce de leche using sweetened condensed milk. Her process couldn’t be simpler, and it produces a wonderfully thick and creamy sauce. I just had to share it with you!
Use dulce de leche as a topping for ice cream, on pancakes or crepes, to flavor cakes and pies, or as an alternative to bottled caramel sauce. It’s the key ingredient in one of my upcoming Purim recipes (posting soon!). Or, just eat it with a spoon. It’s that good.
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Dulce de Leche
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) (1 can)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pour can of sweetened condensed milk into a ceramic pie plate or dish. Sprinkle the milk lightly with about 1/8 tsp of salt (for a more salted caramel flavor, use 1/4 tsp salt).
- Cover tightly with foil. Place the filled pie plate into a large roasting pan and fill the roasting pan with water till it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pie plate.Place the roasting pan into the oven. Let the mixture cook slowly for 75-90 minutes, check the water level every half hour to make sure it hasn't dried out too much. Add water as needed.
- At 75 minutes, begin checking the color of the dulce de leche. When it reaches a rich light brown caramel color, you'll know it's ready. The longer you let it cook, the thicker and darker it will become.Take the pie plate and roasting pan out of the oven. Carefully remove the pie plate from the hot roasting pan. Take off the foil.
- Whisk the dulce de leche mixture. Use warm, or allow to cool to room temperature depending on your intended use.
- Store in the refrigerator. The sauce will keep for up to 4 weeks when refrigerated.