Can I cook a sugar butter condensed milk mixture in a pot over boiling water to achieve a caramel filling instead of cooking it directly in the pot



Shuna L. August 14, 2015
When I see "caramel" and "sweetened condensed milk" in the same recipe, I tend to change the *method* rather than the recipe, per se.

Two options:
Make caramel with butter and sugar (I prefer the wet sand method for caramel b/c it's more even, less dangerous). When I have my caramel the color I want it, whisk in sweetened condensed milk, and take off heat as soon as mixture is smooth.

Make "dulce de leche" with sweetened condensed milk any method you prefer. If you use a very deep pot, keep it filled with water, and boil for 4 hours - this creates a deepened caramel.

Number two is a much more straightforward method, except if your kitchen has no desire to be filled with steam for four hours!

Mmmmm banoffie pie. Don't forget to add salt somewhere!
Brett S. August 15, 2015
Thanks for your help :)
Susan W. August 14, 2015
Brett, Epicurious has a couple of recipes for this pie. In both, they have you do the "toffee" part of it in a water bath in the oven. You may prefer that. Here's a link to one of them.
Smaug August 14, 2015
I'm not a real caramel guy, but it seems to me I have heard of people making caramel by putting an unopened can of condensed milk in a water bath- did take a while, as I recall, but you don't have to do much but make sure it doesn't boil dry.
Greenstuff August 14, 2015
As Epicurious mentions in Susan W's link below, that method, while popular, can lead to explosions! Hence their less exciting, oven method.
ChefJune August 14, 2015
Brett, if you're concerned about burning it, get a flame tamer for you burner. I agree doing it over a water bath will probably triple the time it takes to make it. Just watch it - as in don't leave the kitchen.
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Smaug August 14, 2015
Flame tamers are the kind of thing it's getting harder to find- a cast iron skillet or griddle makes a pretty good substitute.
Angela August 14, 2015
It depends a lot on what state you want your caramel to end up. Cooking over water in a double boiler, your caramel will not heat up above 212°F. Even if you left it there for a very long time to let more water boil off, you will never get to the temperatures needed to start changing the sugar structure. I found a few banoffee pie recipes online that specified a temperature of about 234°F, or soft ball stage.
Just keep an eye on it and use a thermometer and you should be fine.
Jeanne August 14, 2015
I think you can do this in the crockpot - try googling it !
Kris August 14, 2015
Will take way too long. Why wouldo you want to do that? Any constraint?
Brett S. August 14, 2015
No constraint I was just worried about burning it that's all, all good will just be careful
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