Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dulce De Leche: Easier to Make than to Spell

Dulce de Leche is a the Spanish term for milk caramel. Do I have your attention now? Thought so. Versatile and addictive, once you see how easy it is to make, you'll be adding it to cakes, pies and tarts at every turn. I know, because I do.

The process is so easy that I'll just walk you through with pictures, actually.

This is an ordinary can of sweetened condensed milk. If you are planning on filling a pie with caramel, use at least two cans.
 With a can opener, punch at least 2 holes in the top of the can. DO NOT EVER EVER EVER JUST PUT AN UNOPENED CAN IN A POT AND BOIL IT!!! THAT WOULD PUT YOU IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS A COMPLETE IDIOT.
 Place can in a sturdy sauce pan and fill the pan with enough water to reach almost to the top. You don't want the boiling water to splash into the can but you don't want there to be so little water that it all boils off.
 Cover the entire pan with foil and turn the heat to high just until the water comes to a slow boil.

 When the water starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and recover the pot with foil.
Set a timer for AT LEAST 30 minutes (for a light caramel for sauces) or up to an hour (for a dark, thick caramel for pies and filling). You can always remove the foil and check what color the caramel is on the top of the can but the longer you cook it, the darker the caramel will be at the bottom of the can.

 With tongs, remove the can from the hot water and place in a heat proof dish. You want to cool the can before you open it up, so cover it and place in the fridge until it's cool enough to handle. You may wish to chill it completely for fillings.











When the can is cooled, open the can completely and scrape out the caramelly goodness within. I was using this to drizzle over crepes, so I left it a light caramel. But consider filling a pre-baked pie shell with a dark, thick milk caramel and topping with whipped cream, nuts and chocolate. OR thin the caramel with milk and soak a cake in it for Tres Leches cake. OR just eat the stuff out of the can while considering the fate of the universe.

3 comments:

Erin said...

Awesome! I kid you not. I just bought a can of sweetened condensed milk yesterday because I wanted to do this. I've never done it before & was going to have to do some research. Thanks!!!!

Renee said...

So I've done this the hard way in the past (double boiling) and now have a question. Why the foil? and not a lid to the pan?

Thanks

betty crocker said...

Thanks for the question, Renee--honestly, a lid is totally fine if you have one for your pan :) the pan I always use at home I found in a "free box" sometime ago but-alas! no lid. I've also had situations where it was easier to put the foil over just the cans and keep refilling the pan with hot water so it wouldn't run dry.
I don't know if I answered your question so much as confused you there.... :)