I’m so excited to bring you this recipe today for Homemade Milk Jam, aka Dulce de Leche!
So remember when I made my Strawberry Pretzel Salad Parfaits and spoke about my experience with Best Food Facts for the TASTE15 program? Well Best Food Facts ended up taking me to Bentonville, Arkansas and Chicago last year to learn more about food and where it comes from.
The best part of the trip (besides visiting some really cool cities) was making new friends with some other bloggers and farm bloggers. I had no idea all the work that goes into farming, be it dairy farming or corn farming. One farmer even grew canola oil, which, stupid me, I had no idea you could farm.
Since I work with dairy ALL the time, I took the time to interview one of the farm bloggers on our trip, Krista Stauffer. Krista runs a dairy farm with her husband in Washington and knows everything there is to know about all things dairy. Can you imagine how delicious and fresh their milk must be? I asked her if she’d ship me my own cow but she was like “you’re crazy and I’m putting you on a cow-buying list for suspicious people.” So it was a no-go.
ANYWAY. Krista answered a lot of questions for me about the process of milking a cow and what happens after milking the cows, which I found so interesting. Krista says, “After the cow is milked, the milk is stored in a stainless steel tank where it is immediately cooled. The milk truck arrives, takes a milk sample to be tested later for quality, components and antibiotics. The milk is loaded on the truck to be transported to the processing facility. At the plant, the entire tanker of milk is tested for antibiotics. At this point any milk with a positive test would require all the milk to be disposed of. All milk that passes the test, is unloaded at the plant. It is then filtered & pasteurized. It depends on the processing plant as well as the milk from the farm which products it is made into. For example, milk with a higher butterfat could become cottage cheese, buttermilk, etc.”
Krista and her family ship all of their milk to the Northwest Dairy Association, also known as Darigold. I became excited because I’ll sometimes buy Darigold butter! Knowing I may be eating a product made with milk from Krista’s farm is so cool!
And since today’s recipe used sweetened condensed milk, I figured we’d all want to know what the process of making sweetened condensed milk was. Krista and Best Food Facts’ resident nutritionist Sarah Downs explain: “Sweetened condensed milk, also known as condensed milk is created when some water is evaporated from the milk and sugar is added until a 9:11 (nearly half) ratio of sugar to milk is reached. The sugar added to sweetened condensed milk of course give it that sweet and gooey awesomeness but also helps to extend the shelf life.” That thick, sugary, gooey consistency is perfect for making magic bars, which I have a ton of recipes for on my blog, and what makes it one of my favorite ingredients!
BUT, don’t confuse sweetened condensed milk with evaporated milk. Sarah says they’re very different (and they are!) For one, there’s a consistency difference. Evaporated milk has a thinner, runnier consistency much like skim milk. Sweetened condensed milk is thick, almost like a syrup or gravy. According to Sarah, “both are forms of concentrated milk in which 60% of water is removed. The major difference is the sugar content. Sweetened condensed milk (as the name implies) is always sweetened and evaporated milk is unsweet.” Evaporated milk is great for pumpkin pie and fudge!
And probably the most important thing I asked Krista: Chocolate or regular milk? Krista says she enjoys regular milk with warm cookies, and chocolate milk with dinner. I think I like this girl
So now that we know all about dairy and sweetened condensed milk, it’s high time I explained to you that this homemade milk jam is made exclusively with sweetened condensed milk. That’s it. ONE ingredient. You probably don’t believe me, but you should!
And by the way, wondering why I’m calling it “milk jam”? Well because it is! ‘Dulce de Leche’ and ‘Confiture de Lait’ both translate to ‘sugar of milk’, and milk jam/dulce de leche/confiture de lait all are made by simmering milk and sugar together. Instead of making it with whole milk and sugar and boiling it, I took a shortcut route and made it using sweetened condensed milk. Easy peasy! And so delish!
- 2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
- 4 (4 oz) mason jars
- Open up the cans of sweetened condensed milk and pour the contents evenly among the four mason jars. Seal the lids on all the jars.
- Place the mason jars into a large slow cooker and cover completely with hot water, making sure there's at least an inch of water covering the tops of the mason jars. Cook on LOW for 10-11 hours (I cooked mine for 11 for deeper flavor/color).
- CAREFULLY remove the jars with tongs, as they will be scalding hot. Allow to cool and dry on a dish towel, about 2 hours. Rust may have formed on the tops of the mason jars during their bath; simply wipe it off. Store milk jam in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Rich, deep, buttery, gooey goodness. This tastes AMAZING on top of ice cream!
Want more Dulce de Leche goodness? Check out these recipes!
Have a super sweet day!!
In the interest of full disclosure, I was a brand ambassador for Best Food Facts in their TASTE 15 program. I was sponsored and compensated to write this post. All opinions are 100% my own.