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Foods -- Dairy Products

Can I safely cook sweetened condensed milk in its can to caramelize it?

Rating: 77

At least one cookbook (which was recalled) and some old camping practices suggested cooking an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pan of boiling water to make a sweet custard. This is not a recommended practice and could be hazardous if it exploded. If a recipe calls for caramelized sweetened condensed milk, here is a safe way to do it. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pour one can of sweetened condensed milk into an 8" glass pie plate. Cover with foil and place in a shallow pan. Fill pan with hot water. Bake one hour or until thick and caramel-colored.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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