Condensed Milk


Condensed milk is a mixture of whole milk and 40%% sugar, heated until 60%% of the water evaporates, creating a sticky, sweet mixture. Unsweetened condensed milk is referred to as evaporated milk.

Unopened, a can will keep for 6 months. Once opened, 5 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Substitutions: 1/3 cup evaporated fat-free milk + 3/4 cup sugar + 2 tbsp butter or margarine & heat all until dissolved = 1 cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk combine 1 cup + 2 tbsp nonfat dry milk powder + 1/2 cup warm water, then add 3/4 cup sugar = 1 cup low-fat sweetened condensed milk


Other names: Sweetened Condensed Milk
Translations: Kondensētā piena, Kondensuotas pienas, Lapte condensat, Kondenzirano mlijeko, Sữa cô đặc, Mleko skondensowane, Gecondenseerde melk, संघनित दूध, Leite Condensado, Сгущенное молоко, Συμπυκνωμένο γάλα, حليب مكثف, 농축 우유, Kondenzované mléko, Кондензовано млеко, Letse-kondensada, 炼乳, Llet Condensada, Kondenzirano mleko, Kondenzované mlieko, Latte condensato, תמצית חלב, Kondenserad mjölk, Susu kental, 練乳, Lait concentré sucré, Kondenseret mælk, Kondensert melk, Leche Condensada, Згущене молоко, Maitotiiviste, Кондензирано мляко

Physical Description

The two terms, condensed milk and sweetened condensed milk, have become synonymous; though there have been unsweetened condensed milk products, today these are uncommon.

Colors: white to yellowish to cream

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet
Mouthfeel: Thick, Sweet, Contrived
Food complements: Chocolate, Coconut, Lime, Graham crackers, Bread, Tropical fruits
Wine complements: Red wine, Dry white wine, Port
Beverage complements: Milk, Coffee, Fruit shakes, Fruit juices
Substitutes: Evaporated milk, Cream and sugar

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Condensed milk thickens and darkens as it ages, and the sugar crystals may become grainy, which can be unpleasant. It is likely that condensed milk six months past the "best before" date is safe to use, but if you have any doubts after opening the can or if it just looks too sludge-like, we would move on to a more recent vintage.
Buying: Can be purchased at a local supermarket.

Preparation and Use

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 interchangable. Condensed milk is very popular for use in desserts and sweets. You can cut the caloric count down a bit by reducing the sugar in the recipe. Condensed milk is a prime ingredient in old-fashioned key lime pie. Condensed milk in baked goods lends crust color, tenderness, moisture, and flavor.

Raw milk is clarified and standardized, and then is heated to 85-90°C for several seconds. This heating destroys some microorganisms, decreases fat separation and inhibits oxidation. Some water is evaporated from the milk and sugar is added to approximately 45%. This sugar is what extends the shelf life of sweetened condensed milk. Sucrose increases the liquid's osmotic pressure, which prevents microorganism growth. The sweetened evaporated milk is cooled and lactose crystallization is induced

Cleaning: Not Applicable

Conserving and Storing

Unlike evaporated milk, condensed milk usually does have an expiration date, so check the can label closely when purchasing. Both should always be refrigerated after opening. Due to its high sugar content, condensed milk will last longer after opening than evaporated milk, but use both optimally within five to seven days after opening.


Condensed milk is used in recipes for the popular Brazilian candy brigadeiro in which condensed milk is the main ingredient (the most famous condensed milk brand in Brazil is Moça [ˈmosɐ], local version of Swiss Milch Mädchen marketed by Nestlé), lemon meringue pie, key lime pie, caramel candies and other desserts.

In parts of Asia and Europe, sweetened condensed milk is the preferred milk to be added to coffee or sweetened tea. Many countries in South East Asia use condensed milk to flavour their coffee. A popular treat in Asia is to put condensed milk on toast and eat it in a similar way as jam and toast. Nestlé has even produced a squeeze bottle similar to Smucker's jam squeeze bottles for this very purpose. Condensed milk is a major ingredient in many Indian desserts and sweets. While most Indians start with normal milk to reduce and sweeten it, packaged condensed milk has also become popular.

In New Orleans, it is commonly used as a topping on top of a chocolate or similar cream flavor snowball. In Scotland, it is mixed with sugar and some butter and baked to form a popular, sweet candy called Tablet (confectionery) or Swiss-Milk-Tablet. In some parts of the Southern U.S., condensed milk is a key ingredient in lemon ice box pie, a sort of cream pie. In the Philippines, condensed milk is mixed with some evaporated milk and eggs, spooned into shallow metal containers over liquid caramelised sugar, then steamed to make a stiffer and more filling version of crème brulée known as leche flan.

In Mexico, sweetened condensed milk is one of the main ingredients of the cold cake dessert (The leading brand is "La Lechera", the local version of Swiss Milch Mädchen by Nestlé), combined with evaporated milk, marie biscuits, lemon juice and tropical fruit. It is also used to make homemade Dulce de leche by baking it in an oven.

During the communism era in Poland it was common to boil a can of condensed milk in water for about 2 hours. The resulting product is called kaymak - sweet semiliquid substance which can be used as a cake icing or put between dry wafers. It is less common nowadays but recently some manufactures of condensed milk introduced canned ready-made kaymak. Boiling the can in this way is central to the making of Banoffee pie and home-made dulce de leche.

History: According to the writings of Marco Polo, the Tartars were able to condense milk. Ten pounds (4.54 kg) of milk paste was carried by each man who would mix the product with water. However, this probably refers to the soft Tartar curd which can be made into a drink ("ayran") by diluting it, and therefore refers to fermented, not fresh, milk concentrate.

Nicolas Appert condensed milk in France in 1820, and Gail Borden, Jr. in the United States in 1856 in reaction to difficulties in storing milk for more than a few hours. Before this development milk could only be kept fresh for a short while and was only available in the immediate vicinity of a cow. While returning from a trip to England in 1851, Borden was devastated by the death of several children, apparently due to poor milk from shipboard cows. With less than a year of schooling and following in a wake of failures, both of his own and of others, Borden was inspired by the vacuum pan he had seen being used by Shakers to condense fruit juice and was at last able to reduce milk without scorching or curdling it. Even then his first two factories failed and only the third, built with his new partner, Jeremiah Milbank in Wassaic, New York, produced a usable milk derivative that was long-lasting and needed no refrigeration.

Probably of equal importance for the future of milk were Borden's requirements (the “Dairyman’s Ten Commandments”) for farmers who wanted to sell him raw milk: they were required to wash udders before milking, keep barns swept clean, and scald and dry their strainers morning and night. By 1858 Borden's milk, sold as Eagle Brand, had gained a reputation for purity, durability and economy.



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