when i am catering a special occasion, i am on top of my inventory and have every necessary ingredient measured and accounted for to the gram. when making something on the fly at home…not always so much
so it was when key lime pie sparked my food fancy the other day. oddly enough, it was not key lime juice that gave me pause – i had a bottle in the back of the fridge – but sweetened condensed milk. i could have sworn i had a can somewhere in my pantry, but my search proved futile. not wishing to trek to the grocery store, i googled “sweetened condensed milk substitutions”. it seems i am not alone, as my search results turned up page after page of homemade recipes for the gooey concoction. huzzah!
after perusing several recipes, i elected to try the version below which i found on cooks.com. it was the simplest method, calling for ingredients i always have on hand, and requiring minimal equipment. this accident was proving fortuitous! but…would it work? being the ever-curious chemist in the kitchen, i was eager to experiment.
so i cracked my eggs and whisked them. then added my brown sugar, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt and whisked until smooth. the resulting mixture was darker in color (likely due to the dark brown sugar), and a bit thinner than that sticky canned stuff. but, i would leave it to science.
i incorporated the mixture into my pie filling, poured it into my par-baked crust, popped the pie into the oven to bake and forced myself to leave the kitchen, the temptation to turn on the oven light and plop down on the floor and watch too great!
25 minutes later…the pie showed real promise. slightly souffled around the edges, while still slightly jiggly in the center. i removed it and allowed it to cool. it set up like a dream, and sliced beautifully. my only regret is that i did not take any pictures to document the event!
next time a recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, why not skip the sticky canned stuff and give this recipe a try? i would love to hear (and see!) the results.
DIY Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt