With baking season in full swing, bakers and chefs alike are ambushing the grocery stores stocking up on sweetened condensed milk for that homemade fudge, or cranberry cream bars, or eating straight out of the can. Wait, you don’t eat straight out of the can? Neither do I.
But did you know that it’s faster, easier and healthier to make a jar yourself. The only ingredients needed are milk and sugar. And butter but that’s optional. Unless you’re in our home.
And if you use organic ingredients, which I highly recommend, you will have yourself a jar of organic sweetened condensed milk. Better yet, if you use grass fed, local raw milk and organic sugar, you will have yourself a jar of grass fed local sweetened condensed milk. Of course, the prolonged cooking of the raw milk will destroy most of the live enzymes but still, I assure you it is still much better than the store-bought homogenized, ultra-pasteurized milk we typically find in our grocery stores. But that’s a topic for another post.
Back to the goodness that is……sweetened condensed milk.
The key to making the perfect batch of sweetened condensed milk is to cook it at low steady heat and for long period of time, reducing the quantity by half. And butter. Adding butter is the other non-negotiable here. I promise you, it will be just like the store-bought thick and smooth texture and flavor that we all remember from our childhood. I remember licking every bit of the condensed milk from a can as if it was the last can on earth. Anybody else? Just me again.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk milk and sugar together. Whisking often, bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Watch the milk closely so it doesn’t boil over. As soon as the steam starts lifting off the milk and sugar is dissolved (about 13 minutes), reduce heat to the lowest setting add butter (optional) and continue to cook for about another 1hr 15 minutes. Stir the milk approximately every 15 minutes. Once reduced to about 1 cup, pour into a pint size jar. This recipe is great for doubling.
Allow to chill and it will thicken just like the stuff in the jar ready to be used in your favorite recipes. Or straight out of the jar.