This was the easiest thing to make and quite surprising to me. Buy three 14 ounce cans of sweetened condensed milk (organic is available for about a buck more). Pierce each tin once with a can opener. It’s the kind of can opener we used to open can’s of juice with when we were kids, now everything is twist off , so it made this seem like an old fashioned thing to do.
Cover the tops of the tins with tin foil, get as tight a seal as you can and place the tins in a heavy bottomed pot of hot water and bring to a rolling boil. The water should come up to within an inch of the top of the tins. The tins may bounce a bit, the water may get a little milky and even developer a scum. Water may spil onto the top of the tins: Not to worry.
Fill the pot with more hot water when ever it starts to get low. Do this for 4 hours. Yes it is a time commitment, but worth it! You need to be checking in every 20 minutes or so.
When the 4 hours are up turn off the heat, with tongues carefully remove the tins, discar the tin foil and let sit until they have cooled enough to be able to handle comfortably: 10-15 minutes.
Remove the lids with a can opener and you have dulce de leche. I made mine into a fondue and dipped pineapple, green apples and homemade date nut bars into it.
Now I’m thinking about making ice cream… if you have the time this is a much cheaper way to get Dulce de Leche which can be fairly pricey depending on the brand and the size. To make the fondue I emptied the cans into a large metal bowl, whipped into a nice consistency and then kept warm over a pot of simmering water. When it was time for dessert I poured it into my fondue pot and served it with the above mentioned dippings. Sour works best but the date nut bars were pretty awesome. And if you got the link you’ll notice that the bars there are just called Date Bars, I felt with the heaping cup of pecans that I added that the nuts should get equal billing.
This recipe was adapted from the wonderful book Fondue by Lenny Rice and Brigid Callinan published by Ten Speed Press.