In today’s article, we’ll be tackling how to make homemade evaporated milk. You’ll see that you’ll never have to find a replacement for this ingredient, as you can easily make it a home.
Isn’t evaporated milk the same as condensed milk?
Nope. You see, while both condensed milk and evaporated milk are obtained through the process of reducing milk, they have totally different textures and flavors.
Reducing milk involves cooking it slowly until almost 60% of the water content has been evaporated or reduced.
What’s the Difference?
While both are forms of reduced milk, the sweetness, textures and uses are quite different. Evaporated milk is just plain milk reduced down to a creamy texture. As you eliminate the water, this results in a slightly sweeter milk substitute.
Condensed milk is evaporated milk but with added sugar, having more of a thick syrupy texture and a caramel-like flavor.
What Do You Use Evaporated Milk For?
Evaporated milk was first made in order to give the milk a longer shelf-life and make it easier to store. During the reduction process, cooks discovered that this thicker milk could be used in all sorts of recipes that require cream.
As evaporated milk is more neutral in sweetness, it can be easily incorporated into both sweet and savory recipes.
Evaporated goes well in soups, baking goods, white sauces such as Bechamel, and even in coffee or tea.
How to Make Evaporated Milk
The steps to making homemade evaporated milk are quite a few and simple. You just have to let the milk simmer for a few hours and wait for the water to slowly evaporate without burning your milk.
But sitting near a hot stove, stirring and supervising your milk to not boil over for hours is a time-consuming task. So, we have come up with three ways of making your evaporated milk, with the latter two taking just a few minutes of your time.
Evaporated Milk Method Number One
The traditional method involves heating the milk and keeping it at medium heat until it has reduced to around ⅓ of its initial volume. But this can take anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours with you stirring frequently to prevent the milk from getting burnt.
Out of 30 ounces (890 mL) of fresh milk, you will have 12 ounces (350 mL) of evaporated milk.
I don’t recommend using non-homogenized or raw milk, as the fat and liquid will separate when heated. You can fix this by adding an emulsifier, like lecithin.
Method No 1 Instructions
- In a heavy-bottom, non-stick saucepan, pour your milk and add a pinch of salt.
- Under a medium heat stove fire, bring the milk to a boil just once.
- Take the heat down to low and let it simmer.
- Using a wooden spoon, continue to stir in your milk from time to time.
- Keep cooking the milk on a low simmer until it has lost at least ⅓ of its initial volume.
- You can let it evaporate even more if you are looking to achieve a thicker consistency.
- Let it cool down for a little then pour it in a clean glass container.
- Wait until the milk has cooled down completely at room temperature then you can store it in your fridge.
Evaporated Milk Method Number 2
For this version, you will require powdered milk in addition to your regular milk.
Instead of letting the milk take its sweet time to evaporate all the liquid, we are going to add the powdered milk to get it to that creamy consistency. Milk powder is also made by dehydrating liquid milk, so combining them will get you mid-way through the reduction process, which is the evaporated milk form.
What you’ll need
The fatter, the better. It is recommended that you use milk that has at least 3% fat. Milk with a lower fat content will take longer to evaporate and will lack that nice, creamy texture. If you are looking for a vegan option, you can also make evaporated milk from coconut milk, almond milk, or oats milk.
- Powdered milk
Do not use skimmed milk powder, as your evaporated milk will not have its thick consistency.
Method No 2 Instructions
- Add your milk to a heavy-bottom saucepan.
- Slowly whisk in your powdered milk and stir lightly to prevent any lumps from forming.
- Don’t worry if there are lumps at first, they will dissolve eventually in the milk.
- Keep the heat at medium-low for a few minutes. Bring your milk to almost boil and then set the heat down to low and keep cooking for under 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and strain the mixture to get rid of any undissolved milk lumps.
- You should now have a smooth liquid.
- Wait for it to cool down for a bit then pour it into a clean glass container.
- Let it reach room temperature then store it in the fridge.
- If the evaporated milk is too thick, you can blend it with a few tablespoons of warm milk.
Evaporated Milk Method Number 3
What You’ll Need
- 240 ml powdered milk,
- 1¼ cup (300mL) water
- 1 tbsp (15g) butter or up to 8 tbsp (115g) if you are using a skim milk powder
Method No 3 Instructions
- Mix the powdered milk with the water and whisk until there are no lumps.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add in the butter if you want your evaporated milk to have a richer taste.
- Keep the milk on low heat until it reaches the desired color and consistency.
- To give your evaporated milk substitute a thicker consistency, let it cook for five or ten minutes more while stirring frequently.
Storage and Shelf-life
This homemade evaporated milk can be left in the fridge for a week up to 2 weeks without spoiling.
Need A Really Quick Evaporated Milk for Your Recipe?
Have a recipe that needs evaporated milk and can’t find any or don’t have the time to make your own? Just mix 1-part cream with 3 parts milk and you have a great alternative that you can use in recipes that do not require that caramel sweetness and flavor.
I hope that these homemade evaporated milk options will come in handy when you get to make your next recipe.