Boiling condensed milk for caramel

hotcookie101
hotcookie101 Posts: 2,060
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edited 11 September 2012 at 12:31PM in Old style MoneySaving
I want to make some caramel for a recipe. Now it says in the recipe I can buy dulce de leche, or boil unopened tins of condensed milk for the caramel.

The tins say NOT to boil unopened as might explode? I know its H&S but can I boil them? And if so-do I just bung them in a pan and cover, or have water half way up? Can they go on the bottom or do they need a trivet beneath them? And will the condensed milk made from skimmed milk make caramel? or only full fat?

(PS I did search, but couldn't find a specific thread, so please if I missed it, merge me!)

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  • pigpen
    pigpen Posts: 40,833
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    buy the tin of caramel.. it id really nice.. I would eat it out of the tin with a spoon given half a chance
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  • cutestkids
    cutestkids Posts: 1,650
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    Hi

    If you are going to boil in the tin then pierce the top of the tin first put in water to come about 2 thirds of the way up the tin and leave the pot lid off, you will need to keep checking and topping up the water.
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  • Ah, I'm too tight to buy the caramel!
    Am sure the recipe says she boils a few tins then keeps them in the cupboard, surely couldn't do that if it was open?
  • GreyQueen
    GreyQueen Posts: 13,008
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    :) I have a bannoffee pie recipe which involves boiling a tin or carnation condensed milk. You need to whack it on something first to give it a big dent, then boil in a large pan, turning once to make sure both sides are evenly caramelised and you must not allow it to boil dry or it will probably explode. Lots of people I know have made the recipe many times and no one had had an exloding can yet.

    Allow it to cool for some time (an hour is good) before you open it. HTH.

    NB I whack mine on th kerbstone.
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  • PipneyJane
    PipneyJane Posts: 3,939
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    What cutestkids said. I usually put two or 3 holes in the lid first, since one might get clogged (just a quick punch through with the tin opener). From memory - and it's been quite a while - it takes about 45 minutes to turn sweetened condensed milk into caramel. (Hopefully, someone will be along shortly who can confirm that.)
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  • Possession
    Possession Posts: 3,262 Forumite
    My SIL did explode a can, so it does happen. Luckily nobody was in the kitchen at the time but you can imagine the mess.
    I haven't worked it out but the cost of running the hob might cancel out the extra cost of the carnation caramel tin (unless you've already got the condensed milk of course!).
  • Thanks everyone I have found a way to do it in the oven which needs to be one this afternoon for a long time anyway as am baking bread, making roasted tomato sauce, and meatballs, so it looks like I will give it a go.
    Can I use the skimmed milk one?
  • pigpen
    pigpen Posts: 40,833
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    it takes ages to boil it to caramel so probably cheaper to buy the tins!
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  • babyshoes
    babyshoes Posts: 1,771
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    I've done it with the skimmed milk one - it's not as nice but does work.

    I usually just do it with an unopened tin in a pot of water and make 100% sure it stays covered with water. It will only explode if you let it boil dry! My family have been using this method for years, generations even, and have never had a problem with it exploding. A good plan is to set a timer so you don't forget to check it every half hour or so. It does take a long time, at least 2-3 hours using this method, 4-5 for the yummier dark caramel. Beyond 5 hours it can catch and have a slight burned taste to it.
    Trust me - I'm NOT a doctor!
  • Yeah, I think next time I will just buy the caramel, but will see how it turns out in the oven :)
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