This month, our Baking Club members are working their way through Stella Parks’ BraveTart, and are making homemade versions of everything from classic store-bought treats to ingredients like sweetened condensed milk.
Recipes generally call for one-can's worth at a time, and those cans are easy enough to pick up and store for when the need arises, so why should you bother with making your own? Namely, better flavor and personal control. Stella Parks explains:
Making sweetened condensed milk at home means subjecting it to a far less heat-intensive process than commercially canned milk, which helps preserve a fresher dairy flavor. DIY also means you can infuse the milk with aromatics, and better control the sugar content, so the end result can be dramatically different from a canned equivalent (like using toasted sugar and chai spices, or a vanilla bean, etc).
Between the ability to tweak and control the flavor, and fact that Parks' homemade condensed milk recipe is a relatively quick one, it's definitely worth the effort. Members like Sandra Blau have been raving about the results:
Oh me, oh my, Stella Parks, this is insane—you are a genius. I tasted it when it was cool enough and I could eat/drink the whole jar! Saving it for Key Lime Pie, a favorite in our house. I didn't think it would actually, well, CONDENSE, but it sure did! Amazing, too, that I was able to use skim milk.
Whether or not you've joined the Baking Club yet, we don't want you missing out on boosting your baked goods with homemade sweetened condensed milk. Try making the DIY version pictured above or Stella Parks’ recipe from BraveTart and then put it to use in one (or more!) of these 17 recipes: