Milk jam, or dulce de leche in Spanish, is a kind of caramel with a strong milk taste. I propose here two methods, one with fresh whole milk and sugar and the other with sweetened condensed milk. I don’t suggest the version where the condensed milk can is cooked in a water bath. This milk jam is found all over the world, but especially in Argentina since the 17th century where it is called dulce de leche (pronounced doultché dé létché). This one can be put everywhere: in pancakes, waffles, on bread for breakfast (well it’s not light…!) and is mostly eaten with a spoon… It is very simple to make and keeps well in jam jars. To your wooden spoons, to your pots and pans and all in the kitchen!
For the dulce de leche recipe, I prefer the taste of method 2 to fresh whole milk where you can really feel the milk in it. For the first method, the visual result is still more perfect, but the taste is too close to the sweetened condensed milk from which it is made. I also add a can of unsweetened condensed milk to get a stronger milk flavor. This famous method of cooking a can of sweetened condensed milk is also found everywhere. It works great but takes over two hours and the taste is really totally that of sweetened condensed milk. But it’s also very good. So I won’t talk about it here because I like to cook things in a pan…!
Recipe for dulce de leche:
Method 1 with condensed milk:
-1 can of sweetened condensed milk
-1 can of unsweetened condensed milk
-1 pinch of baking soda
Method 2 with fresh milk:
-1 liter of fresh whole milk
-275g of sugar
-1 pinch of baking soda
First method with sweetened condensed milk:
Put the can of sweetened condensed milk (397g from Nestlé) and the can of unsweetened condensed milk in a saucepan.
Add the baking soda.
Place over moderate to low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. The whole process takes about 30 to 40 minutes.
The mixture must be brought to a boil.
It will begin to take on a darker and darker color. Always stir well to prevent it from caramelizing too much in the bottom of the pan.
Note from Bernard:
if ever in either method the milk jam makes little caramelized lumps, you can get rid of them by passing it through a fine strainer as fine as a sieve.
When the dulce de leche is ready (nice color and smooth consistency), pour it into a sterilized jam jar or into a bowl if you want to eat it immediately.
You can see that the consistency is perfect and very smooth after cooling.
For the fresh milk method, the one I prefer in terms of taste, it is just as easy but takes roughly twice as long, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Put the sugar in a saucepan.
Add the sodium bicarbonate.
Then the fresh whole milk.
Bring to a boil and then cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The milk reduces and turns yellow.
After thirty to forty minutes of boiling, stay this time near the pan. Stir constantly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
The dulce de leche takes its consistency and color. Do not forget that the dulce will become firmer as it cools, so pay attention to the color.
The result once cooled.
All you have to do is put dulce de leche on waffles, bread, pancakes, ice cream… It’s so good, it will go anywhere!