Dulche de leche ("candy of milk") is a creamy, smooth, sweet treat that's popping up more and more on dessert menus, in cookies - and even in coffee shops. If you've never had it before, it's kind of like a really thick, milky caramel. It's amazingly delicious - and surprisingly simple to make!
Traditionally, dulce de leche is made by boiling milk and sugar on the stove top for hours until the water evaporates and the sugar caramelizes. A simpler method is to use pre-sweetened milk - aka sweetened condensed milk. There are many different preparations out there - some of which include boiling the sweetened condensed milk right in the can (yikes - the risk of explosions, BPA contamination and who knows what else scares me!). For safety and ease, I decided to go with an oven recipe from one of the dessert gods - David Lebovitz.
2 ingredients, basic equipment, no frequent stirring and amazingly creamy results - what more could you ask for?! You can see the simple recipe and instructions below.
I'm planning on using my gooey goodness in another dessert later this week (stay tuned!). But it can also be used as a simple dip for fruit or as an ice cream topping. Have you ever had dulce de leche? How do you like to use it?
Easy Homemade Dulce de Leche
(Adapted from David Lebovitz)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp. salt (about 1-2 pinches)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a tea kettle (or sauce pan) full of water to a boil on the stove.
Pour sweetened condensed milk into a shallow pie pan:
Place nested pans on a lower rack in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water in the outer pan until it comes about 1/2 way up the side of the pie plate:
Close oven and bake for about 60-90 minutes (adding water to the outer pan every 20-30 minutes to keep the level consistent as it evaporates) until sweetened condensed milk thickens and turns a rich caramel color:
Carefully remove pans from oven and take pie plate out of water bath. Let cool about 20 minutes, then whisk mixture until smooth. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave (or by warming in a pan of hot water) before serving.
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