Some call it dulce de leche. Some say cajeta. Some refer to it as leche quemada. I call it one of the easiest recipes I will ever share with you. While it is undoubtedly time consuming, it couldn’t be simpler to make. And homemade dulce de leche (and I don’t mean from a can of sweetened, condensed milk) is unparalleled in deliciousness. I mean it. Val is currently experimenting with making it in a slow-cooker to minimize the attention that needs to be paid to the dulce de leche in progress, but for now, invest the time. It’s worth it.
Yes. That is a quart of Dulce de Leche. It’s one of three quarts I made a couple days ago. I made, what else, a double batch. If I’m spending 5 hours watching a pot, I’m going to get a good return on my time.
Homemade Honest-to-goodness Dulce de Leche
Make some now and you can keep it in the fridge for a couple months in a tightly lidded container. A spoonful of this is good for what ails you.
3 quarts milk (use goat milk for the most authentic flavor)
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
In a large, heavy bottomed stock pot, whisk together 1 cup of the milk with the sugar and the baking soda until smooth. Add the remaining milk and turn heat or flame up to medium high. Stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by just under half and a gorgeous caramel brown. This will take anywhere from an hour to five hours depending on your milk and weather conditions. I am not joking. Humidity plays a huge part in how fast your dulce de leche caramelizes and the water in it evaporates. Remember that the caramel will thicken as it cools, so don’t worry about it being looser than you think it ought to be. You can always return it to the pan after cooling and caramelize it further but you can’t take back over-cooked!
Pour hot caramel into clean jars, top with clean two-piece lids and allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Eat this. Often.