Last month I spied a sweetened condense milk recipe embedded in a Food & Wine magazine recipe for lemon meringue pie. It was a chef recipe and I decided to give it a try. It was simply whole (full fat) milk and sugar with a touch of vanilla plus a lot of time — about 2 hours of slow cooking on the stove. I wondered if it would be worth the trouble. Would it make my Vietnamese coffee sing brilliantly? Since I mostly drink soy milk, I ‘borrowed’ some of my husband’s Whole Foods organic milk and made a batch while we read the Sunday New York Times.
The F&W recipe called for less sugar than my prior attempt at DIY sweetened condensed milk. This time around the flavor was more nuanced. I tasted the natural milk sugar and it wasn’t overly sweet, but it was a little thinner than my favorite store bought brands: Longevity (Old Man) and Eagle Brand. The next day I made Viet coffee with homemade sweetened condensed milk and it was elegant but not as intensely sweet as usual. I wondered what would happen if I started using different kinds of milk, which is how I have five jars of condensed milk in my fridge! Below are my trials and notes, followed by a recipe for you to make your own.