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How to make evaporated and condensed milk at home

I know you are probably thinking what does being able to make evaporated or condensed milk at home have to do with survival. Well not a lot in the short term, but in the long-term, it is useful to know how to make the most of the milk from your dairy animals so that you are thriving and not just surviving!

What’s the Difference Between Evaporated Milk and Condensed Milk?

While both are sweet dairy products, they have totally different flavors, textures, and uses.

Condensed milk has a thick syrup-like consistency and is made by reducing milk and sugar. Evaporated milk is simply just milk reduced down to super creamy liquid. By cooking off most of the water content of the milk, you get a naturally sweet milk substitute that has no added sugar content.

How to make evaporated milk

Evaporated milk was initially made with the intention of being rehydrated, meaning it was milk that was reduced down for storage and shelf-life. In the process, cooks discovered its lovely flavor and thin-yet-creamy texture is great for adding to all kinds of things. I love to add this to soups, chowders, drinks, oatmeal, fudge, and more.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups full-fat milk

Instructions:

  • In a non-stick heavy bottom saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over medium heat (the milk will cook onto the sides of the pan, so using a non-stick pan will be so much easier to clean). 
  • Once it simmers, turn down the heat to medium-low and let it gently simmer, stirring the milk occasionally to make sure it’s not getting scorched on the bottom of the pan. 
  • Simmer the milk for about 25 minutes or until it’s reduced down to roughly 1 1/2-1 1/4 cups of liquid. 
  • Once the milk has reduced and turned a creamy color pass it through a sieve remove any skin. Set aside to cool completely. 
  • Store the evaporated milk covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

And there you have it, less than a half hour and you have it evaporated milk, or as my dad liked to call it “canned cow” to enhance many dishes, or to just pour over some canned fruit for a simple desert.

How to make sweetened condensed milk

Different types of milk and different sweeteners will change the flavor of your final product. For example, goats milk makes for a sweeter richer flavor that is amazing when used to make mascarpone for Tiramisu.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk (whole goat, sheep, almond, coconut, or rice)
  • 2 cups sugar or alternative sweetener

Instructions:

  • Mix together the milk and sugar in a medium pot, or in a crockpot.
  • Turn burner on low or slow cooker on high, and stir regularly until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Cook with the lid off until reduced by half. On the stovetop, this will take about 1 1/2 hours. Stir every 10-15 minutes for the first 45 minutes, then every five minutes until finished. In the slow cooker this will take 7-8 hours, without any need for stirring.
  • Pour the finished product into a pint-sized glass jar and store in the fridge. It will thicken up as it cools.

member not to rush the process as you do not want it to scorch. After you have made this a time or two feel free to experiment with adding in a few cardamom pods, a bag of tea, some dried rose petals, a vanilla bean, or other ingredients with your simmering milk and sugar to vary the flavor at that stage. These spices can then be strained out when transferring the milk to jars when using either the slow cooker or stovetop method. The varieties that you’re able to make are endless!

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