Making Dulce de Leche in a pressure cooker

When I went to Uruguay last year I ate at the Bouza vineyard and they serve me a flan with two quenelles of dulce de leche.   I’ve read it is not hard or long to make in a pressure cooker.   So I am giving it a shot and will give you my play by play.

The dish I had at Bouza winery

First of all you use Borden’s Sweetened Condensed milk.  You can use other brands but don’t you just know Borden’s is better because of the picture of Elsie the cow on the front.  This product holds very strong childhood memories of our time living in Algeria. My parents would bring this stuff camping and my brother and I would eat it by the spoonfuls.  We would put it in our coffee and generally scarf the stuff down.  I know that Dulce de Leche also triggers powerful memories for everyone in latin America that grew up on the stuff.

How could you not trust Elsie?

I did a little research on other blogs so that I would have a starting point on my experiment.  They all said to take off the wrapping off the cans. Easy enough.  Then came all the different methods of cooking.  Most called for putting the cans in a pan. Filling it with water to 3/4 of the way up the side of the can  and cooking it covered for up to 3.5 hours.  I stumbled on another recipe which gave me a recipe for the same technique in a pressure cooker.

Now in my new role as a stay at home Dad playing Mr. Mom, I have become very acquainted with my pressure cooker.  I never really used them until last year.  In France people use their Cocotte Minute all the time.  They are great and especially in our mile high city where we are lacking some air pressure.  I purchased a Fagor pressure cooker.  I have been told that Khuns are better, but I saw a few destroyed while working at CSR.

My Fagor

The blog I consulted told me to submerge my label free cans with water.

Covered with a 1/2" of water

I put the lid and cranked it full blast until I saw the pressure indicator pop up.  I turned down the heat to the lowest possible setting and let it cook for 30 minutes.  The blog recommended 20, but I wanted a very caramelized product.  Once my timer went off, I poured cold water on the surface of the pressure cooker until the pressure indicator sank.  I took the cans out and put them in the fridge (you could put them in ice water).  Don’t try to open them hot or you might have a sticky clean up job.

I told my son we would open them the following day and when he got home from school that day he was quick to remind me.

Voila, ready for consumption

It was very firm (cold) and very caramelized.  After the sampling,  I would agree with a slightly shorter cooking time of 20 minutes.  My son and daughter loved it.


4 Responses

  1. Well thank you very much, I will follow your instructions, you should try alfajores. They are short bread cookie sandwiches, and just guess the middle filling 🙂

    • Yes, I have tried alfajores. We make them at our school and feature them sometimes in our Argentinean classes. Hope the recipe for Dulce de Leche works out for you.

  2. Muchas gracias!!! we all crave it! I am a mother of six boys and I can’t afford to pay $15 for the large glass container which lasts a week in our house. I have a pressure cooker so I am excited to make dulce de leche. I am from Argentina.

  3. Olá, sou do Brasil, e desde de pequena aprendi com minha mãe a cozinhar o leite condensado na panela de pressão, gosto muito de usar como recheio de bolos, acho que o tempo de 20 minutos de cozimento é o ideal, mas as vezes deixo cozinhar por mais tempo, para poder comer puro. Parabéns pelo blog.

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