Making Evaporated Milk at Home
The holidays are coming!
And with it the season of baking.
If you are anything like me, there is an entire list of things to be made for the holidays. (Or even just because you want it.)
Ever notice how many of your holiday recipes call for evaporated milk? If you haven’t, go take a look. It’s a lot. From pies to frostings, a lot of what I make for this season involves me using evaporated milk.
But it’s so expensive, and worse yet, full of shelf-stabilizing chemicals to keep it “fresh” for longer. (Anyone else notice an oxymoron in that sentence?)
Take a look at the label of Carnation Evaporated Milk. The first ingredient may be milk, but second is dipotassium phosphate, followed by three more chemical ingredients that I honestly can’t pronounce.
Now, what is dipotassium phosphate? Essentially it’s a chemical version of salt. While it may be classified as safe, I really don’t like consuming things that I can’t pronounce or find in my garden.
According to Wikipedia,
Dipotassium phosphate (K2HPO4) (also dipotassium hydrogen orthophosphate; potassium phosphate dibasic) is a highly water-soluble salt which is often used as a fertilizer, food additive and buffering agent. It is a common source of phosphorus and potassium.
A dipotassium phosphate solution is formed by the stoichiometric reaction of phosphoric acid with two equivalents of potassium hydroxide: H3PO4 + 2 KOH → K2HPO4 + 2 H2O
Okay, I can see fertilizer salt since I also use Epsom salts in my garden, but still.
The good news is that I have an alternative for you!!
You can purchase regular milk and evaporate it yourself!!
*doing a happy dance here*
First off, you need milk.
And lastly, you need milk.
Start with 8 cups of whatever brand milk you buy. Now, find a heavy bottomed saucepan or pot. Measure 3 cups of water and pour into this pot. Use your canning ruler that you use to measure headspace (or any ruler you happen to have on hand) and make note of the depth of the water in the pot. This is the final depth that your milk needs to evaporate to.
Dump the water out of your pan and pour in the milk. Over medium-low heat, bring the milk to steaming. DO NOT boil.
You will need to stir this frequently to avoid scorching it while it cooks down. I tend to do this while I’m making something else in the kitchen. It’s all about multi-tasking.
Stir frequently for about 4-5 hours. Make sure to measure once you think you need to, but do not remove from the heat until the depth is the same as the water was.
Once it has reached that measurement, remove from the heat and allow to cool at room temperature for a few hours.
I always transfer mine into a quart glass mason jar for storage. Make sure to refrigerate this and use within 2-3 days. If you have excess, you can freeze it also. I freeze mine right in the mason jar with at least 3 inches of headspace to account for expansion.
Freeze for up to 6 months.