Dulce de Leche

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My plan this week was (and still is) to share a rundown of fun Easter recipes, printables and dinner ideas. And don’t worry – it will still happen. But I cannot consider myself any kind of friend if we don’t cover this first:

DIY Dulce de Leche.

Did you just shiver in excited anticipation? Because you should. I have been living in a dulce de leche dream world since stumbling upon this foolproof and non-explosive method of making dulce de leche. I’m not kidding when I say that I’ve made a batch of this about every other day for the last week because I can’t stop myself from a) eating it by the spoonful and b) giving it away so I can win the friend-of-the-year award. Listen, I’m not above bribing people to be my friends. Glad we got that out of the way.

Dulce de Leche

Let me back up a bit. A week or so ago, a friend I’ve made through blogging, Amy M. (who has fantastic, impeccable food taste), emailed me to tell me she had boiled a can of sweetened condensed milk in water, stirred in a bit of vanilla, and made the best dulce de leche ever. I emailed her back and said I’d heard of this method, but like pressure cookers in general, it scared the bejeebers out of me to try it. I mean, I don’t know about you but the risk of exploding cans of hot sugar make me nervous. Amy assured me it wasn’t that big of a deal (probably rolling her eyes all the while) especially if you keep an eye on the water level and add water as necessary.

But I was still scared. So I did a little research and in doing so found I wasn’t so crazy about boiling the can for another reason – the possible (or real, whose to say for sure) risk of BPA toxins from lined cans leaching into the milk while boiling. Enter the canning jar theory. I have a ton of canning jars sitting in my basement so I decided to try it out in the slow cooker. Toxin risk eliminated. Explosion risk eliminated.

Dulce de Leche

Now I just had to decide if it really was the stuff dreams are made of. So I opened up two cans of sweetened condensed milk, poured them equally into 3 (1/2-pint) canning jars. Capped them with lids and rings and set them in my slow cooker, covered with water by an inch and cooked the magical jars for 8 1/2 hours (another overnight solution, baby). And oh yes, my friends, the golden, glorious dulce de leche that was pulled from my slow cooker (with a bit of vanilla stirred in) truly is life-changing. For a week or so now, we’ve been dipping apples like crazy into the silky, smooth dulce de leche, not to mention drizzling it slightly warmed over ice cream and…as I sheepishly admitted earlier…simply eating it by the spoonful (my husband insists I mention right here and right now how divine this is on bananas, also).

So what are you waiting for? Make some! It’s easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and I’m left wondering how I’ve managed to live without a constant supply of dulce de leche in my kitchen before now. Thanks, Amy, for getting the wheels spinning for some fantastic, homemade dulce de leche! How can you resist a one (possibly two if you add the vanilla) ingredient recipe that tastes like heaven? Plus, you’ll want to have some of this on hand thanks to the dessert recipe I’ll be posting next week that utilizes the dreamy stuff.

Dulce de Leche

DIY Dulce de Leche

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

DIY Dulce de Leche

Note: Don't shorten the slow cooker time by setting the temperature to HIGH. I read several reviews over different blogs that said doing that resulted in a very burnt, disgusting mess. Also, slow cookers vary in temperature so you'll have to experiment a little with the actual time you cook your dulce de leche. Mine was perfect after exactly 8 1/2 hours but it might take up to 10 or as short as 8 to achieve the perfect dulce de leche.

Ingredients

  • 2 (14-ounces each) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste, optional
  • 3 (1/2 pint each) canning jars with lids and rings
  • Water

Directions

  1. Open the cans of sweetened condensed milk and portion them equally into the three canning jars. Wipe the tops and sides of the canning jars, if needed, in case any of the sweetened condensed milk spilled down the sides. Place a lid and ring on the canning jar and screw tightly to seal. Put the three canning jars in a slow cooker and cover with water by one inch. It doesn't matter whether the jars are laying on their side or standing up straight - do what works best for the size of slow cooker you have. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to low for 8-9 hours, until the dulce de leche is deep golden brown. Carefully remove the jars from the hot water and let them cool. If desired, open the jars and stir in 1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract into each jar. Replace the lids and rings and store in the refrigerator. Supposedly it keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month - good luck getting it to last that long!
  2. The dulce de leche can be warmed up on low heat in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pan of water to be drizzled over ice cream, used as dip for apples, spread over crepes etc. We also enjoy it cold or at room temperature for a spread on bananas, apples, sweet breads (like banana or zucchini). The options are endless!
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/diy-dulce-de-leche/

Recipe Source: inspired by this post after Amy M. sent me an email regarding dulce de leche

105 Responses to DIY Dulce de Leche

  1. Trina says:

    I like this idea, as opposed to cooking the milk in the can. I was wondering…did the jars seal during the slow cooker process?

  2. I’ve yet to make my own. Must do this soon!

  3. Caitlyn Z says:

    I am OBSESSED with dulce de leche. The Girl Scout Dulce de Leche cookies are pretty good… but the creamy goodness of sweet, sweet heaven is unbeatable. Thanks for this recipe!

  4. Hilary says:

    Have made this dulce de leche before (although didn’t add the vanilla – that seems like it would take it to the next level!) and its WONDERFUL!! I actually made it this past fall, and sold it at my children’s fall fundraiser at their primary school. I placed a whole apple on top of the sealed jar, wrapped it in clear cellophane and tied with a raffia bow. Kind of like a “deconstructed caramel apple”. They flew off the “bake sale” table! Great for little gifts as well! Another great recipe!

  5. Rebekah says:

    I had never heard of cooking it in a glass jar – great point about the chemicals from the cans, I hadn’t thought of that. I’m definitely going to give this a try. I LOVE dulce de leche!!

  6. Lien4424 says:

    Yes! I love this stuff! You’re right in that you wouldn’t be a good friend if you didn’t share this recipe with the world :) My favorite is to sauté some apples and pecans (or any nut) in a teeny bit of butter, then stirring some dulce de Leche over it to warm and pouring this over vanilla bean ice cream…heaven!

  7. Kim in MD says:

    I love, love, love dulce de Leche! I use it in so many recipes, but a favorite is to stir it into brownie batter before baking. OMG- you won’t believe what it does to brownies! Boiling cans of milk in a pot has always scared the bejeebers out of me, too, not to mention the BPA toxins. Making it in canning jars in the slow cooker is genius, Mel! Genius, I say! :-)

  8. Ooohh, this sounds great! And dangerous! I can’t imagine having an entire batch chilling in my apartment..

  9. Judith - Texas says:

    Will definitely try this method. Looking forward to your Easter entries.

  10. Jeni says:

    Did u use new canning lids.?

  11. toni says:

    OMG!! There goes my diet. I’ve wanted to try this for a long time, but just like you I was scared it would explode. This sounds like an easier and safer way. Thanks. (Although my hips aren’t saying thanks. he! he!)

  12. Mel says:

    Trina and Jeni – a couple of times I’ve made this, I’ve used new canning lids and the other times, I’ve reused lids from another canning purpose. With the new lids, the jars did seal (obviously they didn’t with the reused lids); however, I still wouldn’t recommend them being “shelf-stable.” Canning relies on specific temperature (as you probably both know) and I didn’t test out the reliability of the sealed jars and how shelf-stable they are…so to be safe, I just keep them in the refrigerator. It might be worth looking around online to see if anyone has had luck actually “canning” the slow cooker dulce de leche.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I admit, it sounds a bit scary to me too. I might just live vicariously through your pictures :)

  14. Patti says:

    When you say “cover with water by 1 inch” do you mean put only 1″ of water in your crockpot or fill with water up leaving 1″ of the jar exposed?

  15. I haven’t even had breakfast yet but I am now certifiably, undeniably craving something with this poured all over it. Yum! Great recipe, Mel!

  16. Mel says:

    Patti – it means completely cover the jars with water and continue to add water until there is 1-inch of water above the jars.

  17. Keri says:

    I love to make dulce de leche using the microwave. It’s super fast and there are no worries about explosions or BPA.

  18. Patti says:

    Haha! Thanks! I’m glad I asked. I would have had a disaster! : )

  19. I just saw this on pinterest the other day and was so intrigued–thanks for sharing your experience!!

  20. Becca says:

    I’m terrified of baking a can, too! I might be able to try the jar method, but I’ve used David Lebovitz’s method (check his blog) in the past and it works well. You pour the sweetened condensed milk into a baking dish and then bake in a water bath. No stirring, super easy. Voila, no fear of exploding anything. :-)

    Your dulce de leche looks delicious, in any case!

  21. Chrsitina says:

    2 words…… Banoffee Pie :)

  22. Teresa says:

    I have made this before too using the method by boiling the can. Will do it this new .way from now on. I poured the finished product in an already baked pie shell, topped with homemade whip cream, and garnished with shaved butterscotch bark and called it butterscotch pie. Veeerrryyyy Rich, but much yummy

  23. Your dulce de leche looks heavenly – I am yet to make it at home but you certainly are giving me incentive :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Lemon Polenta Raisin Cookies + Mini Berry Citrus Yoghurt Bundts

  24. Kimber says:

    Mel, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog.
    I’ve made this, poured into graham cracker crust, topped with whipped cream and mini-chocolate chips. Tastes just like O’Charley’s Caramel Pie.

  25. Lauren says:

    Just checking. Are you filling the water PAST the jars by one inch? Or, are you only putting one inch of water in the crock?

  26. Lauren says:

    Oops! Just read comments! Sorry!

  27. charlie says:

    i made this once before and i’m wondering how you keep it? When i made it, it was so yummy but then i hardened so so quickly. Then i put it in the fridge and it becomes rock hard and i couldn’t eat it and i had to throw the jar away with it because i couldn’t get it out. Also, microwaving wont work :/

  28. Oh, boy this sounds too good to be true…guess I’ll have to try it!

  29. Mel says:

    Charlie – I think if the dulce de leche becomes rock hard it may have been overcooked. When I make it in the slow cooker like this, it is spoonable from the refrigerator (not pourable, but it can be easily spooned out). I reheat it on low by either microwaving the jar on low in the microwave or setting the jar in a pan of simmering water (kind of like warming up honey).

  30. laurie says:

    I’ve stopped buying canned sweetened condensed milk and making my own in a blender with powdered dry milk and hot water. Do you think I could have success using that type of sub with this recipe?

  31. Luda says:

    Mel-I have never canned anything, so when you say canning jars, do you mean mason jars? I am assuming they are the same thing based on your picture, but just want to double check.

  32. I don´t know how the condensed milk version works, but the regular supermarket ddl behaves pretty much like honey when it´s refrigerated. Only that it´s consistency is denser. Once it´s out of the fridge it should come back to a normal spreading consistency. And it takes a long time to get rock hard; that´s due to the enormous amount of sugar that crystallizes. And while it´s getting harder it´s like eating chewy ddl caramels. I particularly like that to happen!

  33. Jadell says:

    tried this first thing after reading it yesterday and it turned out delicious! I have tried the boil the can version in the past, and although it took pretty much all day, it was nicer to not have to sit over the stove while worrying it will blow up.
    Turned out delicious!!!

    Thanks for the idea!
    LOVE your blog, btw!!

  34. Tracey says:

    I’ve also seen this idea on Pinterest, and wanted to try it. It looks positively heavenly! I am wondering though if you have been using regular sweetened condensed milk or the fat free kind. Do you think it would make a difference?

  35. This looks fantastic! I love the idea of using the slow cooker – hands-off and little chance of screwing it up. Yum! I’ll be trying this one soon…

  36. Amy M says:

    I am so glad you tried and liked this! I never even thought of the scary BPA toxin possibility so I’ll be using your method going forward for sure. Your method is easier anyway….I’ve got better things to do than to watch a pot of boiling water for three hours. I can’t wait to see what kind of recipe you’ve come up with that utlizes this stuff!

  37. Beth says:

    I tried this last night and, um, had to taste a little when I cut up some pears for breakfast. It was delicious. This is like alchemy in a crockpot!

    You’ve opened up a whole new world of recipes for me with this one, as I’ve ignored Dulce recipes because it’s hard to find or too expensive. Now I’m just going to be looking for excuses to make some more of this . . .

  38. Mel says:

    Laurie – to be honest, I have no idea since I haven’t tried it. Looks like an experiment waiting to happen. If you try it out, let me know how it goes!

    Luda – yes, canning jars/mason jars – same thing. I use the smaller jelly/jam jars (they are 1/2-pint in size) but any canning-safe jar will work here.

  39. Mel says:

    Tracey – I’ve only ever used the regular (read: full fat) sweetened condensed milk. I guess my mentality is go big or go home, right? :) But hey, it’s worth a try with the fat-free…I just can’t guarantee the results since I haven’t tried it. Let me know if you do!

  40. Tanya says:

    YUM!!! I love sweetened condensed milk in anything or just by itself from the can! :) I lived in Portugal and they call this “baba de camelo” which translates to “camel spit”. Nice, eh? I have done the boil-the-can method, but now I’ll try it this way. Thanks for all the great recipes!!!

  41. Dawn Cook says:

    I used this recipe last month to make the best caramel pie you could ever ask for! Just pour the caramel into a graham cracker crust, top with whipped cream and chopped pecans. You might want to hide it from the rest of your family, because once they find it, good luck getting a slice!

  42. Dianna says:

    I’ve made this before by just boiling the sweetened condensed can of milk for 4 hours..you have to keep adding water, and then after the can has boiled for 4 hours, open and serve with fruit or bread or a spoon. =) I’ll have to try your recipe, anything with sweetened condensed milk is amazing.

  43. Veronica says:

    The bonus with this method (besides the non exploding, lol) is that you can stir in the vanilla before and cook it together!

  44. Bonnie says:

    Made your sweet and sour chicken twice in the last week, it is our new family favorite!! Even the grand kids were talking about it and cannot wait to have it again ! Thanks so much for sharing , we all truly loved it .

  45. carol jo says:

    so i tried this before I read your post about how to do it in a water bath. The pie plate in the over covered w/ foil and set in another pan filled w/ water was a flop. Just wasted two cans of milk I am now trying to rescue. Seems the steam goes up under the foil and I ended up w/ twice as much as I started w/ because it filled up w/ steam which then turned to water. I sucked about two cups of water out of my dulce de leche, and now have it in a jar w/ no lid in a water bath trying to heat the rest of the moisture out of it. the milky water I took off the top was very sweet and milky but since hubby does not take anything in his coffee I just dumped that part. Next time I will deff. do the water bath method. wish I had found your page sooner. Thanks for the great info.

  46. Sarah Sparks Campbell says:

    I added 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon to each can of milk. The salt gave it more of a salted caramel taste and cut some of the sweetness. This is a great recipe!

  47. Sarah Sparks Campbell says:

    Mel,
    I’m wondering if you think this could replace the caramel in your Caramel Brownies recipe? If so, how much would you use?

  48. Mel says:

    Sarah – you could definitely try it. Kim (a commenter above) mentioned her favorite way to use dulce de leche is to drop it by spoonfuls over brownie batter, swirl it in and bake. The difference is that dulce de leche isn’t quite as chewy as caramel – it’s more smooth and creamy and unless it is fresh and warm, I don’t know that you’d be able to spread it on the brownies like you do the caramel. But you could definitely dollop it on and I think the results would be delicious.

  49. Mel says:

    Sarah – P.S. I’d use about 1 1/2 cups of dulce de leche in place of the caramel in the brownies.

  50. SherryMarie says:

    The timing of this article was amazing. I think I accidentally made some an even easier way. I was just cleaning out my pantry and found a jar of sweetened condensed milk that ‘expired’ in 2009. I had to spoon it out of the can, but it was the same golden color and consistency of your photos here. And it was amazing. I made Vietnamese coffee by adding a large spoonful of it plus a teaspoon of instant coffee to a cup of hot coffee.

  51. Vicky says:

    I totally forgot to add the vanilla but it was still tasty! I only had one can in the pantry (which has now been remedied), and I put it in a squat, widemouthed pint jar, cooking it for 10 hours. I’ll definitely try the suggestion of adding a bit of salt next time.

  52. charlie says:

    Mel- overcooked it?? I did it the microwave method : pour everything out on a shallow plate and microwave until it changes color… What color should i be looking for?

  53. Mel says:

    Charlie – I’ve never made it in the microwave so I don’t know the timing/method but you can judge the color by the pictures above in the post – my goal is a light to medium brown color.

  54. Sarah Sparks Campbell says:

    If your worried about spreading it on the brownie, I would suggest slightly under-cooking it so that the dulce de leche spreads easier. You could also warm it before layering it on the brownies.

  55. charlie says:

    i’ll try it again! Thank you!

  56. I just HAVE to try this! I, too, heard of the pressure cooker method and was terrified for all of the reasons listed by everyone. This is a perfect solution. I made Dulche de Leche from whole milk once – it was super delicious, but did take almost an hour of constant stirring…but my husband thought it was worth it! :)

  57. Brandy says:

    This would make a great addition to housewarming baskets or holiday treat gift bags!!! I am so planning my Christmas cooking and crafts now!

  58. Kati says:

    I already own a bunch of jars, but they are screw lids. Will those still work?

  59. Catherine says:

    I had to try this. Who can’t use a good excuse to eat sweetened condensed milk?! It was so easy! So far I’ve dipped apples in it, drizzled it on strawberries and bananas (especially complimentary) and cookie-ice cream sandwiches, and, of course, eaten it from the jar with a spoon! This afternoon I had to bring a fruit platter to a family dinner. As I was loading up I saw the jars in my fridge and thought of serving it along side the fruit. With that one act I upped my food offering from the level of ordinary to special.

  60. Andrea says:

    This intrigued me since my mother-in-law still boils the milk in the can to make her famous “Caramel Tart”. I knew my hubby would love it… So, I made it this weekend. It worked but even after screwing on the lids as tightly as I could, I got a bit of a milky mess in my crock pot. The milk was not watery so obviously the milk seeped out without water seeping in. Does this happen to anyone else? Is there anything that I’ve done wrong? It all cleaned up alright, so there was no harm done. Thanks! :)

  61. Mel says:

    Andrea – I’ve had that same thing happen a time or two when I’ve made this. In my case, I think I had some residual sweetened condensed milk on the outside of the jar and another jar I didn’t seal super well. I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong – my sister said the same thing happened to her. I just wiped down my finished dulce de leche jars really well and called it good.

    Kati – I guess I’m not sure what type of jar you are referring to. I use flat lids and screw rings for my canning jars – are we talking about the same thing?

  62. Kati says:

    I mean that the lids are one solid lid. Not the lids that are two separate pieces.

  63. Mel says:

    Kati – gotcha. Yes, I think they would work just fine.

  64. Rachael says:

    Just made this last night! We can’t keep our spoons out of it. The boys and I ate it with bananas at lunch and I took one jar to a friend for her birthday. Thank you so much. This is really brilliant. Definitely a keeper.

  65. Brooke says:

    It sounds SO delicious and easy!! Do you think I could put one 14oz. can into a jar and just put that in the crockpot? I wonder if that would change the amount of time required?

  66. Mel says:

    Brooke – as long as your jar is big enough to fit the entire 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and your slow cooker is big enough to cover the jar with water, it should work fine. But yes, you’ll want to watch cooking time…at least 8 hours but it may take longer with a larger jar.

  67. Susan says:

    Why do you do this to me?? I love Dolce le Leche. (I love to use it in the Banana Caramel Pie recipie also.) I can’t just eat a little bit, so there goes any diet plans!! Thanks for the recipe!

  68. Martha says:

    Hi! I was so excited to try this as my whole family are dolce-de-leche-aholics! I put it in (3) 1/2 pint jars, covered them with water, and set the timer for 8 hours on LOW. When I checked it after 7 1/2 hours, the water inside was bubbling— is it supposed to? and I cooked it for another hour, to make it the 8 1/2 hours!– It looked scrumptuous through the jar, all golden, I couldn’t wait! visions of apple slices, cupcake fillers, bananas, spoonfuls of this delicacy were dancing through my head! I cooled them a bit, opened one to put in the 1/2 tsp of vanilla– the top seemed to have a film on it and when I stirred in the vanilla it was all curdled— didn’t look a thing like your picture. I think it’s overcooked? and I must confess, I used one regular and one low fat can of sweetened condensed milk— I stirred them together before putting in the jars! HELP!! what did I do wrong!

  69. Jodee says:

    I tried this using homemade sweetened condensed milk and it turned out fabulous! I have not made it from the canned stuff so I can’t compare tastes but I thought this version was great. After reading some comments I was also happy that straight out of the fridge it was thick enough to not be able to really pour out of the jar but it was soft enough to easily spread on brownies or cake. So far I have tried it on cake, apples, and cinnamon french toast….oh my! Tasty! The recipe I used was 1/2 C hot water, 1 C dry powdered milk, 1 C sugar, 1 Tbsp butter. Blend VERY WELL in a blender. (recipe from http://www.everydayfoodstorage.net) I did a half batch since I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I need to try the canned version to compare tastes but this will not be the last time I make it from scratch!!

  70. Mel says:

    Jodee – I’m so excited to know this worked with homemade sweetened condensed milk. You are a gem for checking back in to post! You better believe I’ll be trying it. Thanks!

  71. Mel says:

    Martha – the lowfat sweetened condensed milk may have been a factor but I can’t be sure since I haven’t tried it. I was just talking to my sister the other day and trying to convince her to try it with fat-free or lowfat sweetened condensed milk. My guess is that it was overcooked which could simply be a matter of your slow cooker cooking at a higher temperature than mine (the can vary in temperature just like an oven). My water was never bubbly hot so that makes me think the temp of your slow cooker was higher. I’d definitely try it again if you dare, using regular sweetened condensed milk (just until it turns out perfectly – then experiment with lowfat!) and cook it as low as 7 hours to see if the results are better. Good luck!

  72. Kristina says:

    I am so glad I found this recipe. I saw a post on pinterest of someone boiling it in the can and I was like OMG are you freaking crazy. There literally hundreds of posts from people saying this is amazing, I am going to do this. I mean what if the can explodes and burning caramel gets all over your face! Or like you said about the toxins leaching in from the can.

    Thank You for giving us a safe and non toxic way to make this.

  73. Amy says:

    I experimented with both fat free & regular sweetened condensed milk. The verdict? The fat free was basically inedible. As a comment above noted, it seemed to “curdle” and the consistency was completely wrong. I also tried one version where I mixed the two kinds together before cooking. Also terrible. Conclusion? I will make this recipe for my family & friends again and again. However, I’ll skip the fat free & go for the regular — the results of the latter were utterly delicious (my 3 taste testers agreed that is was hands-down the winner).

  74. Amy says:

    Okay, just made the recipe for the 2nd time this week (it was a BIG hit with my friends & family!). Decided to experiment again, and added some unsweetened dark chocolate once the caramel was done cooking. I added 2 squares or so (amount is entirely TT), but first chopped it up into smallish-chunks to help it melt more easily). It took a bit of stirring, but the results were well worth the effort. I used ghirardelli, but I imagine that any decent quality baking chocolate would work. Question: What makes dulche de leche even better? Answer: Why chocolate does, of course!

  75. Shana says:

    I’m so excited to try this! I actually want to make several jars of this to give away as baby shower favors…..does anyone know how long this will last in the refrigerator?

  76. Eileen says:

    Oh Thank God I found this!!! I came across a recipe last week that instructed you to boil the sealed can and I thought “NO WAY” can I do this. I would definitely get distracted and have a huge mess on my hands. I can’t wait to try this….I’m salivating! THANK YOU for doing the research!

  77. Charlotte Moore says:

    Do you have your heat on high or low? I want to do this tonight.

  78. Nicole says:

    I’ve boiled the milk in the can before and had no problems. Used in for a cookie called caramel tassies or better yet mix a little Kailua in for Kailua Carmel tassies. You will die!!!

  79. Kristen says:

    Ive made this a few times and love it! Now I’m thinking that I’d like to can it if possible. Anyone know if it’s possible… My idea is to mix it with some Starbucks via packets and can it, to give away as gifts. Then you can have instant caramel coffee!

  80. Tc Fryer says:

    Thank you for the tip. I have wondered about the can but as you say how do you stop a good thing. We also put this on a good french bread!

  81. Kerry says:

    I was so excited to try this. I put mine in the canning jar and set on low overnight-figured I’d leave it in a bit longer since it was a 14 oz can in one jar. It’s not quite right though. It is lumpy and smells slightly of spoiled milk. Do you think i cooked it too long or not long enough? Temp too high? I do think my crock pot does cook a bit hotter than others I ave used. I will be trying this again and perfecting it, so tips would be great! :-)

  82. Mel says:

    Kerry – what color was the dulce de leche when you pulled it out? It does sound like it was overcooked – if it was darker brown that’s probably what happened. If you think your crockpot cooks on the warm side, I’d decrease the time by 30 minutes to an hour to see how that works out.

  83. Kerry says:

    Yeah, I think it was overlooked! It was darker brown than the pictures here. Will try again :-)

  84. Anahy says:

    I have a question (insert drooling sound). This sounds so yummy. I had heard of people boiling the condensed milk can but I saw the mess it made in my friend’s kitchen when it exploded so I never tried it. Oh, right, my question. Has anyone tried stacking the jars in the slow cooker? I’d like to make a bigger batch by stacking them and setting them to cook. I’d like to use smaller jars so i can use them as party favors. Thanks for the yums! :)

  85. Christina says:

    I made this the other day and a jar of it is already gone! Simply wonderful!! I followed the procedure almost exactly as you described, only, I used the wide mouth half pint canning jars so only 2 fit in my crock pot at a time. My time was a similar 8.5 hrs give or take 15 minutes or so. The only hiccup I experienced occurred when I removed the jars and opened them to stir in the vanilla. I felt as though the consistency was not very smooth and a bit more lumpy than it should be, but after some stirring and then further stirring in of the vanilla (and letting the second jar settle in the fridge overnight) the lumps are pretty much gone. Thank you so much for sharing your idea! This is great!!

  86. [...] didn’t spoil this pie, it was delicious. I made the dulce de leche earlier in the day (recipe here) and it was as easy at the recipe stated (in a crock pot, [...]

  87. Stef says:

    I made this yesterday, but was way too tired to try it out last night before going to bed. And woke up thinking about what was waiting for me. Amazing! Dulce de Leche is one of my favorite things, mostly because it’s yummy but not TOO sweet. Now, I can make it at home!

    I do have a question. I wiped the tops and sides of drips, but must have left something because while it was slow cooking, one of the jars leaked milk out into the water bath. I’ve never canned (quite honestly, it scares me), but it seems like this is ok as long as I’m not trying to keep these indefinitely on the shelf (it won’t last that long, anyway!) Any canners out there that can give me some advice on cause and safety for this particular recipe? Thanks!

  88. Mel says:

    Stef – just to clarify, even though the dulce de leche cooks in canning jars, it isn’t considered shelf stable after it comes out of the slow cooker. It still needs to be stored in the refrigerator. My jars sometimes leak, too. I just give them a good wipe down and put them in the refrigerator so you should be good to go!

  89. Stef says:

    Thanks, Mel. That’s what I thought and how I’ve treated the batch. But then I thought, “What if I’m wrong.” Thanks for your answer.

  90. Katie says:

    I made this the other day, and although super tasty, it was not as thick as yours. When I used it in your Banoffe pie and cut into it, the carmel oozed all out. I had it in the crockpot for over 8 hours and after refrigerating…. it was thick but still pourable. I tried to put it back in the crockpot for a few hours but it didn’t get any thicker….any ideas why? Thanks so much

  91. Mel says:

    Hi Katie – sounds like you might need to keep it in the slow cooker for longer, maybe even 9-10 hours. Each slow cooker varies slightly in temperature and perhaps yours cooks on the cooler side of things. That’s the only reason I could guess for why it didn’t thicken (just to be sure, though, you might try switching brands of condensed milk for next time and make sure it isn’t fat-free or reduced fat). Good luck!

  92. Kim says:

    Do you think I could transfer the sweetened condensed milk to a glass jar and then just cook on my stove top the standard way versus cooking it in the crockpot? I wanna use it tonight for a dessert but I am getting started a little late.

  93. Mel says:

    Kim, I’ve never tried it that way but if you keep a close eye on it, it should probably work. Also, I’ve seen it baked in a shallow pie plate in the oven too so a Google search may help with that. Good luck!

  94. Stef says:

    Kim, I made this for all the family get togethers we had over the Holiday season and it is excellent. When my girlfriend stayed overnight to help get ready for our large Thanksgiving, she told me that she grew up with her mom doing the same thing, only in a deep pot on top of the stove. She doesn’t even open the cans. The unopened cans are immersed in water with 1-2 inches above the tops of the cans, then simmered for 4 hours. You MUST watch the water level. You do not want these under pressure from uneven heat! Our grocer carries the cans with flip tops which I wouldn’t trust to this particular method, but I am going to try it the next time I run across an “old-fashioned” can of sweetened condensed milk! Hope this helps.

  95. Amy says:

    I’m just wondering if you are going to publish a cookbook anytime soon? I am not known to buy cookbooks but I would be first in line to buy yours!

  96. Tracy says:

    Yesterday I made home made sweetened condensed milk again after many recipes that I found not to taste quite right, I ended up by making my own recipe to my families delight. Yesterday I decided to see if it will turn into the lush caramel (dulce de leche). I was pleasantly surprised when it turned into the best dulce de leche I have ever had.
    Homemade condensed milk: 1/4 cup milk powder, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup milk (Cook on low heat till sugar has dissolved and mixture has thickened. It will thicken more once cooled.) To make the dulce de leche, place in slow cooker on high for 9 hours. End result pure delight.

  97. Barbara says:

    Can you add the vanilla to the condensed milk before you boil/can it ? I would love make some as a thank you for our daughters wedding….she loves dulce de leche!

  98. Mel says:

    Hi Barbara – definitely worth a try. I’ve only added it at the end so you’ll have to experiment but I think it should work – I’d err on the side of adding less vanilla so the flavor isn’t too strong by the end of the cooking time.

  99. Susan P says:

    I will share an even easier way. Leave it in the can, take the pop top off (at least the kind of milk we buy at our Latin grocer has a poptop), put rest it back on the top of the can. Fill crock pot with water to within 1 inch of the top of the can,cook on slow for about 3-4 hours. You’ll know it’s done as you’ll see the brown caramel color rise to the top. Spoon it out, if too thick add a table or so of milk to make it smooth to your liking. I am married to a Latin man, and checked with some of my Latin cook friends, and they never heard of adding vanilla so I’m guessing that’s a preference thing.

  100. Raeme says:

    So does it have to be stored in the Fridge all the time or just after you open it?

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