While testing a fabulous apple tart recipe – which you should be seeing in the near future – I came across a technique that we used often at the restaurant but I have since forgotten.
Dulce de Leche.
One bite of the impossibly creamy and almost pudding like caramel had me regretting all those missed opportunities of consumption then correcting my mistake by stocking my shelves with cans of sweetened condensed milk.
Dulce de Leche is simply sweetened milk cooked down to a thickened, caramel-like sauce. Chez Pim and Alton Brown have recipes that make this irresistable sauce in the traditional manner by taking a large quantity of both milk and sugar (and vanilla) and slowly cooking it down.
I am very often a traditionalist – taking the slow route to achieve the best possible result. And while I do intend to make Dulce de Leche in the traditional manner very soon I just couldn’t wait a moment longer to tell you about this almost-laughably easy method of making Dulce de Leche.
This may very well be the easiest recipe I will ever write.
In a large pan, completely submerge the can of sweetened condense milk in water. Make sure it is covered by at least one inch of water and remains covered throughout the entire process – this is VERY important otherwise it could explode. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three hours. Continually check to make sure the can is completely covered with water.
There are dozens of recipes that can help you utilize your Dulce de Leche but my current favorite application is to take slices of fresh picked tart apples, such as Zestar or Sunrise and submerge those into the sweet caramel. If you are like me one bite will have you whisked away to a dreamland where they serve the most incredible caramel apples you have ever tasted only to abrubtly return from your dream-like state by the urging of your 3 year old to share.