I’ve been looking for an excuse to use the can of condensed milk that was lurking in the back of my cupboard for a while now. With the promise of a long Bank Holiday weekend ahead to enjoy it, I turned that sweetened milk into dulce de leche. Because Cinco de Mayo is coming. I know, it’s a stretch, but I told you – been looking for an excuse for a loooong time.
And once the dulce de leche was done – very easy process, I might say – it just had to be incorporated in a recipe. Or else be eaten as is. Plain. With a spoon, while fighting off the rest of the family. I’m not saying that happened. Maybe just a little. What quantity survived made it into homemade pecan ice-cream.
Anyway – dulce de leche. Super easy to make at home, using 1 can (397g) condensed milk. Pour contents of can in an oven-proof dish and tightly cover with foil. Place dish in a roasting tin, then fill with water up to 3/4 of the oven-proof dish to create a water bath. Bake at 220C / 425F for 60 to 90 minutes, adjusting water level every 30 minutes or so. Dulce de leche is ready when colour is an uniform brown and looks very caramel-like. To give it a smooth finish, I also whisked it for 2 minutes. When I make my next batch, I’ll skip this and just eat it straight from the dish…
You shouldn’t eat it, though. Nope, you should save it to make this amazing ice-cream.
500ml whole milk
250ml double cream
395g dulce de leche (equiv of 1 can condensed milk, cooked as above)
100g granulated sugar
30g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, mix milk, double cream and sugar, then heat until just about to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in about half of the quantity of prepared dulce de leche until fully dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and quick cool over an ice bath in a larger bowl. When mixture is at room temperature, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge. This step simply helps with end product firmness – the longer and chiller the mixture is, the firmer it will become once churned in the ice-cream maker. You want to give it anything from 2 hours to overnight. Freeze in the ice-cream maker for 20 to 25 minutes.
When ready, pour into a freezer-safe container in 3 batches, alternating with swirls of the remaining dulce de leche and chopped pecans. If you’re okay with a softer ice-cream – let’s face it, by this point, I’ve usually had all the waiting I can handle – just enjoy. If you’re into scooping your ice-cream into pretty cones, then freeze for 3 to 4 hours, then Bob’s your uncle. If you wanna smother your cone in any remaining chopped pecans, who am I to judge?!?!