Condensed milk is whole milk that has had about 60% of its water content removed. It is then mixed with sugar, which makes up about 40% of its volume. When heated, condensed milk thickens, turns a golden color and takes on a caramel-like flavor. Very sweet and sticky, it's often used to add richness to candies, custards, bars, and puddings. Condensed milk is also a key ingredient in Key Lime Pie.
There are two varieties of condensed milk: sweetened and unsweetened. Most recipes calling for condensed milk are referring to sweetened variety.
Unsweetened condensed milk is also processed to remove water, but it has no added sugar. It is similar to evaporated milk, and is often referred to as such, but it is actually a different product. Evaporated milk is heat-treated for sterilization.
For best results, use the exact product required for your recipe.
Unopened condensed milk can be stored at room temperature for up to six months. Once opened, transfer any unused milk to an airtight container. Refrigerate and use within five days.
Try one of our favorite condensed milk recipes:
View BigOven's condensed-milk recipes