I recently shared on my Tiktok a video about making dulce de leche and I was surprised at how many people didn't realize how easy it is to make. Several people also asked if this was the same as caramel. I quickly realized I needed to write a post on my process for making dulce de leche.
What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de leche is cooked sweetened condensed milk. Different countries call it by different names like manjar, kajmak, confiture de lait or arequipe. The sweetened condensed milk is cooked until it reaches a rich caramel color with a spreadable consistency.
Is caramel and dulce de leche the same thing?
No. Several years ago, I shared my salted caramel recipe. The process for that calls for caramelizing sugar then adding cream and butter. Dulce de leche is just caramelized sweetened condensed milk. Think of the two as cousins, they're in the same family but not the same.
What can you use dulce de leche for?
As a kid, I simply spread dulce de leche on a saltine cracker and called it heaven. Now, I drizzle this into my coffee, make it into a cheesecake, coffee cake and use it as a dip for my fried apple empanadas.
Is it safe to place a sealed can inside the Instant Pot?
My family has been making dulce de leche using a sealed can for decades. These are the tips I recommend to ensure you have no issues with a sealed can
- Before cooking the condensed milk can inspect it and make sure it is not dented or have any damages.
- Always be VERY careful, make sure to cover the can with water completely. I like to make sure the can has about 2-3 inches of water over the top of the can.
- Let the can cool down completely in the water before opening.
- Don’t knock, shake, or jostle the pan containing the hot can of sweetened condensed milk. Just leave it completely alone until it reaches room temperature.
You are safe to make dulce de leche by cooking a sealed can of condensed milk as long as you follow the above mentioned tips.
If you don't feel comfortable using an instant pot, you can pour the condensed milk into a microwave safe bowl and place it in the microwave. Cook in increments of 3 minutes and be sure to stir between cooking. This method takes about 15 minutes or so.
For this recipe you only need one ingredient
- sweetened condensed milk
Are you vegan and craving dulce de leche? Opt instead for coconut sweetened condensed milk.
To store your dulce de leche, place it in an airtight container. It will keep at room temperature for upto 3 days.
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Instant Pot Dulce De Leche
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk of choice unopened can
- Peel off the sweetened condensed milk can's wrapper completely.
- place your can in the center of your instant pot
- Add enough water to reach your instant pot's MAX fill line and close the lid.
- Set the instant pot to cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
- Once cooking has ended, hit the quick release to allow the steam out of the instant pot. Allow the can to cool completely before removing the can from the pot.