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.