Sweetened 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
The two terms, condensed milk and sweetened condensed milk, have become synonymous; though there have been unsweetened condensed milk products, today these are uncommon.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
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
Conserving and Storing
It appears to us that most manufacturers give it a two-year shelf life — that is, the "best before" date is about two years from the time it hits the grocery shelves.