Lumpy Dulce de Leche

Lumpy Dulce de Leche

Chances are if I ask you to think about dulce de leche, the smooth concoction associated with caramel colored jars, boiled condensed milk cans, and Haagen Daaz ice cream will come to mind.  While it is arguably the most popular version of this dessert, it is definitely not the only one.  Grainy, lumpy dulce de leche might not be in most people’s radar, but it was the first kind I was exposed to growing up.

I have told you before about my husband’s alleged aversion to most sweets.  While he doesn’t care much for the traditional dulce de leche, every time we visit a Cuban restaurant he will order the dulce de leche.  His logic? It’s not too sweet.  Caribbean dulce de leche is made by bringing up to a boil evaporated milk, sugar, lime juice and zest.  I used a thin skinned limón criollo – a small local lime variety that’s super juicy and tart.  The resulting dulce is sweet, but not cloying – and very addictive.

Lumpy Dulce de Leche (Dulce de Leche Evaporada)
Adapted from Cocina Criolla

  • 14 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • the peel of one small lime (do not micro-zest)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, lime juice and peel.  Allow to rest for ten minutes.

Add the sugar and stir with a silicone spatula until it is fully dissolved into the milk.  Set the saucepan over medium high heat.  Once the mixture boils, bring down the temperature to low, and allow to cook for ninety minutes.  Resist the urge to stir.  You may do so occasionally, but very gently, not to break the lumps.  After the cooking time has completed, remove the pieces of lime peel, pour into a ceramic or other non-reactive container and let cool.


Tags: , ,


Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

12 Responses to “Lumpy Dulce de Leche”

  1. February 16, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Resist the urge to stir? I would think it would be “resist the urge to scoop spoonfuls out of the pan before its done cooking”…
    I haven’t seen dulce de leche like this before – neat.

  2. February 16, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    This sounds awesome.. I have never seen Dulce de Leche like this before.

  3. February 16, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks for enlightening us all. Like Cher, I’d have to dip my spoon into the pan numerous times…just taste testing of course 🙂

    • February 16, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Just as long as you ladies don’t burn your mouths in the process… go ahead! I’m guilty of doing that, but I’m blowing my spoon for a whole minute 🙂

  4. February 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Ooh, what a great rendition. This looks really good!

  5. February 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    thaaaaanks!!! este dulce lo hacia mi abuelita paterna cuando yo era pequenita, pero ella tristemente murio cuando yo era todavia una nina y no tuve tiempo de aprender con ella, aunque lo he buscado con el nombre que ella lo llamaba (inventado de ella) no tuve exito alguno pues obviamente no se llama asi, gracias por traerlo de vuelta a mi vida 😉 y junto con el muchas memorias vinieron a mi mente

    • February 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Que bueno, Marce! Me encanta cuando puedo conectar a mis lectores con las recetas que les gustan, o con las que crecieron. Este dulce de leche grumoso es super rico, pero lo ha opacado un poco el tipo argentino y la cajeta. 🙂

  6. February 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    I saw this on my google reader and had to click….I didn’t know what lumpy dulce de leche could be. Sounds very interesting, I will have to try this version.

  7. February 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I would love this…lumpy or not dulce de leche has to be delicious!!

  8. February 18, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    Wow, this is a new one to me, but I bet it’s to die for 🙂 Thanks for such an informative and delicious post!

  9. Maria Aponte
    March 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    I love this! My mom makes it pretty regularly, but I never really asked for the recipe. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  10. Ant
    September 1, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    My family is Puerto Rican and this dessert is one of my absolute favorites, my family made it with whole milk instead of evaporated, it was an all day project to reduce it down…but oh how heavenly….now that I’m vegan I’m trying to figure out how to replicate it….

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: