Cooking with canned milk
Evaporated milk can stand high temperatures without curdling, making it a good choice used whole strength in recipes to add creaminess to thick sauces, puddings, and crockpot recipes. It's also good as a dipping liquid for breading meats, fish, and poultry. If need be, very cold whole evaporated milk can be whipped, but it will collapse quickly. Whip just prior to serving and don't expect to store any leftovers.
The natural lactose sugar is concentrated in evaporated milk, so you may need to reduce the sugar when using it as a fresh milk substitute in recipes. To substitute, one cup whole milk is equivalent to 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water.
Since condensed milk contains sugar, it's important that you read your recipe carefully to know whether you need evaporated or condensed milk. They are generally not interchangeable. Condensed milk is very popular for use in desserts and sweets. You can cut the calorie count down a bit by reducing the sugar in the recipe. Condensed milk is a prime ingredient in an old-fashioned key lime pie. Condensed milk in baked goods lends crust color, tenderness, moisture, and flavor.
Caramelized condensed milk is an heirloom favorite as a topping for desserts. It is made by boiling a sealed can of condensed milk for two to three hours. The can must be permitted to cool down completely before opening to avoid any danger of explosion and/or burn injuries.
While I have enjoyed this topping, I do not recommend doing it at home. It is just too risky to do in the home kitchen. However, it is a fun treat if you are out camping and have an open fire. Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk offers several safe methods for making homemade caramel.
The intense high heat process required to make evaporated milk and the processing into tins does not make for a palatable substitute for fresh milk to drink as a beverage on its own.
However, it can be diluted to be used on cereal in a pinch, as my grandmother used to do often. Older generations often used evaporated or condensed milk as a creamer for coffee or tea. When using reconstituted evaporated milk in recipes, you shouldn't notice any taste difference at all, except in yeast breads where the result will be slightly sweeter. Evaporated milk can be substituted in equal amounts for cream or half-and-half in most recipes.
The recipe collection includes some well-rounded evaporated milk and condensed milk recipes to try, including some heirloom recipes to take you back to your youth. You'll also find substitutions to make your own, along with equivalents for special diets.
More About Evaporated and Condensed Milk plus Recipes
- The New Food Lover's Companion
- The New Food Lover's Tiptionary
- More Cookbooks