This canned, unsweetened milk is made from fresh, homogenized milk that has about half of its water content removed. Because it is heat-sterilized, evaporated milk has a caramelized, cooked flavor that is not appreciated by all who taste it. But it is especially useful for adding rich flavor and smooth, creamy texture to recipes – particularly cooked casseroles, puddings, sauces, custards and baked goods.
Varieties and Buying Tips
Evaporated milk is sold in 5- and 12-ounce cans in whole (at least 7.9% milk fat), low-fat (about 4% milk fat) and nonfat (1/2% milk fat or less) varieties.
Unopened cans may be stored at room temperature for up to six months. Once opened, transfer to an airtight container and use within one week.
As a result of the water removal, evaporated milk becomes richer, creamier and also higher in calories. However, it has half the total fat content of regular whole milk, and more than twice the amount of calcium and protein.
- Use in equal amounts as a lower fat substitute for light cream, heavy cream or half and half.
- Substitute for regular milk in instant pudding mixes, macaroni and cheese, boxed potatoes and condensed soups for more homemade flavor.
- Use evaporated milk as a creamer for coffee.
- Make whipped topping: lightly freeze (just until ice crystals form around the edges) in a shallow pan and then beat until fluffy.
- Keep it on-hand so you'll never run out of milk for recipes.
- When mixed with an equal amount of water, evaporated milk may be substituted for fresh milk in recipes.
- Evaporated milk and condensed milk are not interchangeable in recipes. Because condensed milk is about 40% sugar, your results will be drastically different.