Make your own homemade sweetened condensed milk with simple ingredients that come together in just 45 minutes – the result is an incredibly delicious treat!
Sweetened Condensed Milk is one of life’s simple pleasures. I’m certain that I can’t be the only person who would take the first opportunity to sit down and eat it straight from the can with a spoon.
I remember many times as a kid, wiping my finger around the inside of the can after my mom poured it out to use in a recipe. I’d lick my hands silly trying to get every last bit in my mouth – it’s the sweetest treat around, and definitely addictive. 😉
While most of us are accustomed to buying sweetened condensed milk (SCM) in the can at the supermarket, after all, it’s [usually] inexpensive. At the holidays, SCM plays front and center on displays – reminding shoppers that they need it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I’ll be honest – there isn’t anything bad about getting it in the can. I think we’ve all done it, at least I know I have bought it many times myself.
But nothing compares to making it yourself at home [from scratch] with a few simple ingredients. Combine organic cane sugar with raw milk, heavy cream and heat, and magical things start to happen.
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
Sweetened Condensed Milk is made from milk that has had 60% of the water removed. This SCM is made with 3 simple ingredients: 32 oz raw milk, 7 oz organic cane sugar and 6 oz heavy cream.
The advantage of the cream is that the extra fat in the cream keeps the proteins in the milk from coagulating (curdling) as to allow higher heat and therefore, faster reducing.
All three items are added to a pot on the stove and heated between low/medium. Stir the sugar until it dissolves, and then bring the mixture to a low boil for 45 minutes. As it cooks, it will transform to a deep, rich color.
You can add additional flavorings (think vanilla extract, etc). Just avoid adding anything acidic – you don’t want to curdle the milk.
The Home Stretch
After 45 minutes of cook time, the mixture should be significantly thicker and much reduced. If not, crank up the heat. Your cook time can vary greatly depending on the cookware and heat level during reduction.
If you have a digital scale, the final mixture should weigh around 17-18 oz – which allows for a 60% reduction in water content from the dairy. That’s enough to fill up a pint size jar.
Place a lid and ring on the jar and refrigerate (for up to 3 weeks). Use your sweetened condensed milk in recipes once you bring it to room temperature.
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 32 oz milk preferably full fat, raw milk
- 7 oz organic cane sugar
- 6 oz heavy cream
- Add all 3 ingredients to a medium pot on the stovetop and stir continually until you bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a low boil, stir and scrape the sides and bottom of the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Over the course of 45 minutes, the mixture will transform to a darker yellow color as the lactose browns. After 45 minutes your mixture should be 26 oz lighter (and right around 18-19 oz).
- Pour the mixture into a heat-safe jar, and cover/refrigerate until cooled and thick.
- Store refrigerated mixture for up to 3 weeks. If using in recipes, bring to room temperature before use.
- Aromatics like vanilla extract can be added after the mixture reduction. Stir in to the sweetened condensed milk and then pour into the jar for storage.
- Any spices or herbs added during the reduction should be removed prior to refrigeration.
- Should you accidentally reduce too far, add the mixture to a high quality blender with a few ounces of milk to emulsify (or use an immersion blender). Cover and refrigerate.
One of my favorite ways to use this SCM is in iced chicory root coffee. Experiment with your ratios and you might find yourself falling in love with it as well.
You can also use it as a coffee creamer, or as a base for an easy whipped ice cream. (Think 2-3 avocados and this recipe for sweetened condensed milk!) The possibilities are endless.
(I have to admit that I don’t even label the jar in the fridge because if I do, everyone will want to eat it with a spoon! So I tuck it far in the back out of the sight of little hands.)