I tend to resist buying things if there is the slightest chance I could make them at home. Things that are delicious and definitely need to be a part of my life.
Things like dulce de leche.
But then, often, I get scared or distracted, and before I know it two years have passed and I still haven’t made my own dulce de leche! And, of course, buying a jar of it in the grocery store would just be cheating. So whole years have passed that did not include drizzling dulce de leche on my ice creams and cakes and scones…and eating it by the spoonful.
What on earth was I thinking!?
There is really no excuse, because making dulce de leche at home is, in fact, easier than boiling water. You read that correctly. Easier. (Okay, there is a more complicated way to make dulce de leche that involves using very minimally processed ingredients and some actual stirring and caramelizing…that way is probably awesome, but this way is not that way.)
When you boil water, there is some small chance that you may walk away from the pot because a small child is screaming, and then you may accidentally forget that you were boiling water and come back to the kitchen an hour later and find only an empty, steaming pot.
But when you are making dulce de leche in the crock pot, all you do is plop an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk into a crockpot. And fill the crock pot full of water. And turn it on low. And then walk away!
I did mine overnight. When I finally came back in the morning (after 10 hours), the water in the crock pot was gently boiling and the labels to the two cans of sweetened condensed milk I was cooking were floating on top of the water. And all was well.
You can cook your sweetened condensed milk as few as 8 hours or as many as 10. And if, like me, you randomly decide not to remove the cans from the hot water right away, because that small child once again wants your attention, your dulce de leche will still be fine, despite the even longer cooking time!
Yum. You really can’t go wrong. (Unless you try to open the can while it is still hot, which could result in a caramel burn. Don’t do that.)
Tomorrow, let’s turn this amazingly simple caramel into ice cream, okay?
Crockpot Dulce de Leche
from Serious Eats
makes almost 1 cup
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Place the sweetened condensed milk in the crockpot. Cover with 2″ water (or as much water as the crockpot can safely hold).
Cover the crockpot and turn it on low.
Let cook on low for 8–10 hours. Remove the can from the hot water carefully.
Let the can cool to room temperatuer, then open and serve as desired.
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Sarah@WellDined - July 30, 2014
YUM. I’ve done it by boiling before, I wouldn’t have thought to use the crockpot!