Using an Instant Pot is a really easy way to make confiture de lait
Table of contents
CONFITURE DE LAIT IN LYON, FRANCE
In Lyon, we had canelé served with confiture de lait, a sauce of caramelized milk. The translation would be something like milk jam. It is a method of preserving milk by cooking it with sugar. This is more commonly known in the United States by the Spanish name of dulce de leche, since it is popular in Mexico.
Confiture de Lait is a French confection made from reducing sweetened condensed milk to create a thick caramel sauce. It is usually prepared by heating the condensed milk for a few hours until it is reduced to a golden brown paste. The result is a silky, sweet, and rich sauce that can be used in a variety of recipes. It is often used as a filling in cakes and tarts, as well as a topping for ice cream and other desserts. It is a very thick, creamy and luxurious spread that has a mild caramel flavor.
Confiture de Lait is a traditional French treat that has been around since the 1700s. It is also popular in other parts of Europe, particularly Belgium, where it is known as boterkoek or boterwafel. In France, it is traditionally served on May Day and during the holiday season. Today it can be found in many bakeries or supermarkets throughout the country. When used in pastries, confiture de lait gives an intense flavor and can often replace icing or other sweet toppings. It can also be used as a drizzle over pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast dishes. Confiture de Lait can also be used in various forms of cooking, for example to make crêpes, tarts and cakes. It can also be used to accent soups and sauces and as a topping for yogurt or granola. Additionally, it can act as an alternative to chocolate in brownies, ice cream and cake recipes. This thick jam is also a common ingredient in French baking recipes such as tarts and financiers, where it is often used to add richness and texture.
The preparation of Confiture de Lait involves cooking a mixture of milk and sugar for hours, until it has reduced and thickened. This process requires careful attention and stirring, as the mixture can easily burn. After it has thickened, the mixture is poured into molds and cooled until it is set.
Confiture de Lait is a popular French tradition, and is typically served for special occasions such as Christmas or Easter. It can also be given as a gift, as it’s both decorative and delicious.
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING CONFITURE DE LAIT (DULCE DE LECHE)
A quick and easy way to make confiture de lait (dulce de leche) is to use sweetened condensed milk, since it is already thickened and sweetened.
The only other ingredient needed is baking soda. A very small amount of baking soda will help brown the sauce to a deeper golden brown color. Milk is naturally a little bit acidic (pH below neutral). Adding the baking soda, which is basic (pH above neutral) will change the milk from slightly acidic to a more balanced pH. The amount of baking soda is so small that you won’t taste it in the confiture de lait (dulce de leche).
MAKING CONFITURE DE LAIT (DULCE DE LECHE) RECIPE IN AN INSTANT POT
Using an Instant Pot makes this really fast and easy. Just pour the condensed milk into a smaller insert pan and set it over water in the Instant Pot main pan. This makes the Instant pot like a double boiler, keeping the milk from scorching. There is no stirring or checking on it required. It takes about an hour.
Alternative methods take much longer, and are more trouble. Methods like cooking it in a double boiler for three hours – or in a can in the oven for four hours – or in a slow cooker for twelve hours. This is also safer than leaving it in a can and creating pressure by heating up the can. And it doesn’t create a mess with the glue from the label on the can.
And this is by far the most energy efficient way to do this, since the Instant Pot uses less energy than a slow cooker and far less than an oven. When used as a pressure cooker, the Instant Pot uses about 1/10th the energy of the oven.
The confiture de lait is stored in a jar, and will keep refrigerated for weeks.
Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography