Homemade Evaporated Milk
I’ve been crossing a lot of recipes off my To Make bucket list these days, so that explains this recipe for Homemade Evaporated Milk. Maybe it’s the change in seasons, perhaps, or a renewed energy to get back to my roots of truly cooking from scratch. Mikey used to joke, and tease me by asking when I was going to make my own water.
Funny enough, I was helping Isabella with a science question last year, and I kind of did just that. She had to do a comparison on the weight of ice cubes vs. water in its liquid state. So, we weighed a bag of ice cubes, then set it on the terrace to melt in the sun. When the experiment was done, I looked up towards the sky, laughed, and said “ha, I finally made water”.
But, I digress, so forgive for rambling about water, when the real thing to be excited about is Homemade Evaporated Milk free of additives. Need more incentive to make it? How about if I tell you that it can done in your slow cooker, with no real effort on your part besides plugging it in, and then waiting.
Okay, the waiting part might seems tedious. I live in the country, and am 14 miles, one way, from the nearest grocery store. That translates into 40 minutes roundtrip. Even taking that into consideration, making your own evaporated milk in a slow cooker is not a time saver—it takes 8 to 10 hours to make.
So, why attempt Homemade Evaporated Milk?
If like me, reading labels is cause for an anxiety attack at the supermarket, this recipe for Homemade Evaporated Milk is a sanity saver. There are quicker methods, using the stovetop, but that requires a lot of stirring and standing. I’ve no problem with the standing part, but the stirring means I can’t do other things, and as a single mom, anything that allows me to multitask gets a gold star. That’s why I started researching methods using a slow cooker to make Homemade Evaporated Milk.
Many recipes call for large volumes, and I guess that kind of makes sense. It does take a rather long time, so why not double up. Feel free to go that route if you’d like. The recipe I’m sharing here yields the amount you’ll need for making one pumpkin pie (a 12 ounce can basically), which incidentally is the only thing I ever use evaporated milk to make. I’d love your suggestions if you have other favorite recipes using it, so please leave a link in the comments.
As the milk cooks, you’ll see a film form on top. That’s normal. Don’t stir it back into the pot. I found a routine where I set the slow cooker at night, this way I could wake to perfect Homemade Evaporated Milk. I recommend testing your recipe during the day time to see the sweet spot for timing on how long it takes your milk to reduce since slow cookers vary.
In case it wasn’t obvious at this point, all evaporated milk is, is milk that has had the water content reduced, by about 60%, resulting in a more concentrated milk. Think of it as unsweetened condensed milk because it has no added sugar (spoiler alert: there’s a refined sugar free recipe for Sweetened Condensed Milk made with maple syrup coming soon!).
And speaking of pumpkin pie, I took some new photos to go with this post from a couple of years ago. Of course, I had to test out my Homemade Evaporated Milk on a tried & true recipe, so I made a pumpkin slab pie a few weeks ago. It was amazing as usual, and the filling was a little lighter than usual, in a good way, which I think had something to do with the evaporated milk. Happy pie making, everyone!
Get the recipe for my Pumpkin Slap Pie here.
Watch the video of me making my Pumpkin Slap Pie here.
And lots more cooking videos here!
Homemade Evaporated Milk
- 3 3/4 cups 30 ounces / scant 1L whole or 2% milk
- Slow Cooker
- Before you begin, add 12 ounces of water to your slow cooker. Make a note of where the water line reaches (I use a ruler). This is where the milk level will be once your evaporated milk is ready. Discard the water before setting up the milk in your slow cooker.
- To make the evaporated milk, add the milk to your slow cooker. Set it to HIGH, and let the milk cook down, 8 to 10 hours, until it reaches the level you made note of with the water.
- Once the evaporated milk is ready, let it cool, and transfer to a glass jar. Store in the fridge until the sell by date of the milk you used to make it.
I often use evaporated milk in place of cream in soups – like curried butternut squash/apple soup.
I’m a newbie to your site and am loving your down to earth recipes and love of food . Have tried several recipes and been very successful. Looking forward to your sugar free . My whole family has to be sugar free … thank you x
Can’t wait to try this! I utilize evaporated milk for nacho cheese sauce from Catherine Newman’s blog and hot fudge sauce from Brown Eyed Baker.
Heating milk above 135 degrees will extend its life.
I use evaporated milk in my coffee, but I like the idea of using it in cream soups.
it’s funny that you posted this today…i was reading through homemade with love yesterday and while reading about making mustard I read the water comment – it made me laugh then and again today! I love your blog and the amount you share with us. It’s great to learn how to cook from scratch!
Love this! And I don’t need another reason further than because I’ve never attempted it. But additive free is what I’m always looking for. Do you think it would freeze well in 12 oz batches? I know people freeze milk sometimes (or maybe that was just my mom). I don’t know any general rules on freezing/thawing milk products. If so, a big batch would be practical to store up a few batches to use.
In India, it’s very difficult to get evaporated milk even in gourmet stores. Can’t wait to try this out. Tres leches cake, here I come
Yay for tres leches cake! xo-Jennie
I can certainly seeing it being practical, but I’ve never tried it so can’t say for sure it would work. I think it’s worth a try with a small batch first. I’d thaw it in the fridge overnight (or as long as it needs to thaw out in the fridge). Please let us know how it works out. xo-Jennie
Oh, Michele. You made me smile so big. I remember that mustard moment like it was yesterday. Thanks so much for sharing in the journey, both inside and out of the kitchen. xo-Jennie
Ooh, that sounds awesome in coffee. I can’t wait to try this my homemade almond milk. Hopefully this week! xo-Jennie
I will have to look this both up. My fudge sauce from Homemade with Love is dairy-free. Curious about Brown Eyed Baker’s recipe. I love her recipes. xo-Jennie
Hi Sandy. So nice to have you here with us. Hopefully maple syrup is okay for your family. The sweetened condensed milk I’ll be posting was made with maple syrup, not sugar, and makes the most amazing 3-ingredient, no churn vanilla ice cream. My daughter loved it. There are quite a few refined sugar free recipes (using maple syrup, maple sugar, and coconut sugar). I also worked on a book coming out spring 2017 that’s refuned sugar free (and dairy free, too). It’s by Tia Mowry, and you can find it for pre-sale on Amazon. xo-Jennie
I’m going to give that a try in my tomato soup recipe. Thanks! xo-Jennie
I have the same question as Kristjen – could this be frozen (or would the iceification add liquid back in)? When thanksgiving rolls around my teen and twenty-something want a pie or two each so we go through 3-5 pumpkin pies during the holiday. I’d want to make this in bulk.
Hello, do keep the lid off the slow cooker when making the evaporated milk? Also, do you remove the skin that forms on top? Thanks!
I use evaporated milk in homemade mac and cheese.
Great questions, and yes to both! I’ll edit the recipe to make that more clear. xo-Jennie
I love it! A cup of warm evaporated milk makes me feel so good and relaxed. I bought a slow cooker just to be able to make it at home. I also find that full cream unhomogenized milk turns out better. I bake it for at least 12-15 hours on “low”, which results in a lovely brownish colour of milk. In Russia baked milk was made in a wood-fired oven. If you stir 200 gr fresh pot-set sour cream into cooled evaporated milk and keep it in a warm place for 24 hours, you’ll get Ryazhenka – very nice probiotic drink.