Sweetened Condensed Milk

From Cook's Country | December/January 2013

Overview:

Although 21st-century Americans have refrigerators and no longer need to rely on canned milk for safety, we still reach for sweetened condensed milk to make such desserts as flan and Key lime pie because it’s sweet, thick, smooth, and resistant to curdling. To find out which product is best, we tasted four (all about $3 for 14 ounces), both plain and in flan. Three contained only whole milk and sugar; the fourth was made from nonfat milk “filled” with partially hydrogenated soybean oil. When we tasted the canned milk on its own, our preferences varied. In the flan, though, one whole-milk brand was too thin and produced a looser, grainier flan. To ensure perfect desserts without unnecessary ingredients or extra work, we’ll reach for one of our co-winners.

Although 21st-century Americans have refrigerators and no longer need to rely on canned milk for safety, we still reach for sweetened condensed milk to make such desserts as flan and Key lime pie because it’s sweet, thick, smooth, and resistant to curdling. To find out which product is best, we tasted four (all about $3 for 14 ounces), both plain and in flan. Three contained only whole milk and sugar; the fourth was made from nonfat milk “filled” with partially hydrogenated soybean oil. When we tasted the canned milk on its own, our preferences varied. In the flan, though, one whole-milk brand was too thin and produced a looser, grainier flan. To ensure perfect desserts without unnecessary ingredients or extra work, we’ll reach for one of our co-winners.

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