Dulce de leche is one of those things that always seemed super simple to make but for one reason or another I kept putting off actually making it. For those who are unfamiliar with dulce de leche (don’t ask me to pronounce it, I get it wrong every time), it is basically a cheat’s caramel – sweetened milk is heated slowly until the sugars in the milk caramelize and the milk thickens.
There are slightly different ways to make it, but the most common in North America is to use a can of sweetened condensed milk for a more hands off approach. And, the most dangerous (yes, dangerous! Oooo) way to make it, is to boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water. The reason this is potentially unsafe is because if the water boils down too low the can may overheat and explode. Lovely.
I don’t particularly like the thought of boiling something in a metal can anyways, which is probably the biggest reason it took me so long to take the plunge. But, when I saw a slow cooker version that used canning jars instead, I did a happy dance. It all seemed so simple and safe, and I just love finding new ways to use my canning jars (and slow cooker!).
S0, I give you a super simple dulce de leche that is as hands off as it gets and gives you a thick caramel that is just waiting to be swirled into ice cream, sandwiched between cookies, stirred into hot drinks, spread into tart shells, or spooned onto whatever your little heart desires! If you’ve never made it before, I am here to say, do not make the same mistake as me. What are you waiting for?
P.S. If you need one more reason to make this, I’ll be sharing a special treat that uses dulce de leche next week. Better be prepared!
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- Pour the contents of the sweetened condensed milk into a 1.5- 2 cup canning jar; tighten the lid securely. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker, fill with hot water until the water level is at least an inch above the milk. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until caramelized and thickened to your liking.
Adapted from A Beautiful Mess.