Make your maple Dulce de Leche by Martin Picard
Dulce de leche is a creamy caramel sauce traditionally prepared by simmering for seven hours a pot of milk and sugar, stirring as you go. You can do it, but here's the easy way: simmer a can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot of water for two to three hours!
Before going through the incredibly easy steps to make Dulce de Leche this way, you must be careful about the water level in the pan while the can is simmering. If you let too much water evaporate and the can ends up not fully submerged, it may overheat, tear or even explode, which would be dangerous. This detail in mind, here's how to do it safely ...
Step 1: Remove the label
The first thing to do is to get a can of sweetened condensed milk and remove the label.
Step 2: Place the can in a large pot
Place the can on the side in a large pot, or a Dutch oven. If you put it upwards, the simmering water will bounce the can during cooking.
Step 3: Fill the pan with water
Add water at room temperature by filling the pan until the water level rises at least 2 inches above the top of the can. It is very important that the can is completely submerged! Ideally, the water level should never go lower than an inch above the can while cooking. Be sure to check the water level every half hour and be ready to add boiling water if necessary.
Step 4: Simmer
Place the saucepan filled with water on high heat until boiling, then lower the heat and let it simmer. Simmer the can for two to three hours, depending on the hue you want the Dulce de Leche to be. The more you let it simmer, the darker the color will be and the maple flavor will be more pronounced.
When the time is up, carefully remove the can from the hot water using a pair of tongs and let it cool to room temperature on a rack. Do not attempt to open the can while it is still hot, as hot Dulce de Leche may spit up due to pressure inside the can. Dulce de Leche will firm when cooled, but once removed from the can, it can easily be reheated in a bain-marie to a spreadable consistency.
The Dulce de Leche is delicious straight out of the can (optional spoon), but you can also serve it on ice cream or use as a garnish for cakes or cookies.
If you have not used all your Dulce de Leche, put it in the refrigerator, in an airtight container for up to three weeks.
You can keep at room temperature the Dulce de Leche in its sealed container for three months.