My goal was to make dulce de leche, a South American sweet spread. Traditional recipes boil milk, sugar, vanilla bean for some time, then strain, lots of sticky work. People also boil or bake sealed cans of sweetened condensed milk immersed in water, bringing to mind the thought of potential explosions. Then I discovered blogger Mangio da Sola’s crockpot technique – can, water, crockpot for 8 hours.
In a crockpot, the temperature gently rises and holds, cooking gently, unattended. But it turns out my ‘70s appliance only hits 180 degrees on the LOW setting. Not hot enough to produce dark, thick dulce de leche. When I opened my cooled can, it was a creamy caramel sauce, somewhat darker than what it started as but a whole lot more CARAMEL-Y in flavor. Not what I expected but still worthy of apple slices. The rest is in the fridge, it will be great over ice cream.
Crockpot Caramel Sauce
- One 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk). Don’t use the can with the pop-top, either.
- Remove the paper label.
- Place on a saucer in the bottom of a crockpot (the can leaves a rust ring).
- Add water to fully submerge the can.
- Cover the crockpot, set on LOW for 8 hours. Go to bed.
- In the morning, turn crockpot to OFF and let cool on its own, at least 3 hours. Then retrieve your can, open and mmmmm.