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Author Notes: There are as many ways to make dulce de leche as there are ways to use it. This "recipe" is more of a method, as it only requires submerging a can of sweetened condensed milk in water and simmering it to the desired consistency. You can use this method to cook however many cans will comfortably fit in the pot you use. And though I repeat it again in the recipe, be sure to never let the water level fall below the top edges of the cans. Continue to top the water off as necessary during the simmering process. Also please note that I used cans with the tabs, which many will argue is not as safe as the cans without tabs. I have never had an issue with this type of can, but be aware and proceed with caution. (Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond) —Samantha Ardry
Makes 1 -14 oz can
- 1-14 ounces can of sweetened condensed milk (or more!)
- Remove the label from the can and place it in a stockpot that is at least 4-5" taller than the can. You can cook as many cans as will fit comfortably in your pot.
- Place the can upright in the pot and fill the pot with cold water. The water should be at least 2" above the can. Heat the pot over high heat until the water just barely boils, then turn it down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on the water level and never let it evaporate below the top of the can. Top off the water to keep it 1-2" above the can at all times.
- After the 1 1/2 hour mark, gently turn the can upside down in the water using a pair of tongs. If you want a thick, spreadable caramel like the one pictured here, let the water continue to simmer for another 2 hours. If you want the caramel to be more liquid, simmer for another 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on the water level and never let it evaporate below the top of the can. Top off the water to keep it 1-2" above the can at all times.
- When the appropriate amount of time has passed depending on the consistency you want, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the can and let it cool to room temperature. Do not open the can while it is still hot!
- When the can is cool, remove the lid, marvel at the wonder of it all and then transfer the caramel to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.