Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Confiture de Lait (Milk Jam)

Confiture de Lait in a jar with labelConfiture de lait (milk jam) is the French equivalent to dulce de leche. I came over this recipe when searching for how to make something like this without using condensed milk. To me it seems ridiculous to make something very traditional by using canned stuff. Obviously Pim from chez pim had the same thoughts. She had tried and tested and the result is the most gorgeous milk jam I've ever tasted.

I adopted her recipe but added a tiny bit of natron because I was afraid of curdling. Her recipe starts with two litres of fresh milk. The result is a bit less than 1 kg confiture de lait. I tried to double the quantities in hope to get double the amount in more or less the same time. But this will work only, if you use a wider pot. If the pot is only higher, as mine was, the surface from which the water in the milk evaporates will stay the same, i.e. it is too small for double the quantity to give a sufficient saving in time. The 2-litres recipe took 2 hrs. and 40 minutes whereas starting with 4 litres milk took me 4 hours – just saving one quarter of the time.

However, I guess I will stay to the 2-litres recipe from Pim - and make it more often :-)). You can get the very detailed instructions from Pim's blog directly. But as I have to translate it into German anyway I will give you my English version as well.

2 litres of fresh whole milk
500 g (2 ½ cups) sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt (or just under ½ teaspoon of normal salt, that is less coarser than sea salt)
2 vanilla pods (or vanilla extract to taste)
a generous pinch of natron

Put the milk, the sugar, the salt, the natron and the split vanilla pods (or the vanilla extract) into a large, preferably wide pot. Bring it to the boil on a medium heat, stirring all the time. Turn down the heat immediately and let it simmer, stirring occasionally. When it starts to thicken – it will start changing its colour at that point too - carefully go on stirring. Stop when the confiture has the consistency you like. It will thicken a bit more when cold. Remove vanilla pods. Pour into jars. Leave jars open to cool but cover with a kitchen towel. When completely cool close jars and store in the fridge.

To my experience stirring is key. The more you stir the more water can evaporate thus the faster it is done.
Milk Jam in jars
That's what I got from double the recipe.

Confiture de lait is great on its own (and I never had enough to do something else with it). But you can spread it on currant bread (slightly sweet milk bread), use it for fillings or on ice cream. If you reheat it carefully and add a little orange juice and/ or rum you get a nice caramel sauce.

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