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Is there a difference between "evaporated" milk and "condensed" milk?

Den Nov 18, 2007 12:10 PM

I hate to admit I don't know this but I'm not much of a baker and needed condensed milk for a pie and saw evaporated on the same shelf...is it essentially the same?

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  1. c
    Curmudgeon RE: Den Nov 18, 2007 12:21 PM

    absolutely not! The Condensed is about 60% sugar and the evaporated is about 10% sugar.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Curmudgeon
      Den RE: Curmudgeon Nov 18, 2007 12:48 PM

      Ahh, thanks. I guess it would make a diference in the recipe.

      1. re: Curmudgeon
        willownt RE: Curmudgeon Nov 18, 2007 01:16 PM

        I've never noticed that evaporated has ANY sugar. Hmm.

        1. re: willownt
          paulj RE: willownt Nov 18, 2007 01:54 PM

          Evaporated milk doesn't have added sugar, but milk naturally has sugar (lactose). That is what the label identifies.

      2. Ruth Lafler RE: Den Nov 18, 2007 12:51 PM

        Absolutely not (I know Curmudgeon said it, but it can't be stressed enough). Evaporated milk is just milk that's been cooked to concentrate it by evaporating out some of the water. Condensed milk is not only cooked and reduced but has a large amount of sugar added. It has a completely different flavor and consistency.

        1. v
          violabratsche RE: Den Nov 18, 2007 01:21 PM

          Homemade Condensed Milk
          1 cup Hot water
          4 cup Powdered milk
          2 cup Sugar
          1/4 cup Margarine or butter
          Blend in blender until very well mixed.
          Store in refrigerator or freezer.


          Sweetened Condensed Milk-Copykat Recipe
          3/4 C. sugar
          1/2 C. water
          1 C. plus 2 T. powdered milk
          Combine all ingredients.
          Heat to boiling.
          Cook until thick, this will take 15 to 20 minutes.
          This equals one can.

          Homemade Evaporated Milk
          1/3 cup powdered milk
          1 cup milk
          2/3 cup powdered milk
          1 cup HOT water
          Mix well. Refrigerate.


          7 Replies
          1. re: violabratsche
            paulj RE: violabratsche Nov 18, 2007 04:14 PM

            It is funny to see recipes for condensed milk copies, since these canned milks were developed as a means of providing milk to people who could not get the fresh version. Many of the recipes using these were developed by and for people living in the tropics and similar areas. The classic, of course, is key lime pie. Sweetened condensed milk would have been easier to buy in the Florida Keys, especially before the causeway was built.


            1. re: paulj
              smartie RE: paulj Nov 18, 2007 07:36 PM

              nothing like a cup of chai at 5am in the Kenya bush boiled over an open fire with condensed milk added, lions roaring in the background, hyenas calling and monkeys chattering.

              1. re: smartie
                paulj RE: smartie Nov 18, 2007 07:48 PM

                I keep a squeeze bottle of this milk in the fridge for use in my tea - preferably a good black one.

                1. re: paulj
                  chef chicklet RE: paulj Nov 19, 2007 08:16 AM

                  When growing up, my parents added evaoprated milk to coffee, instead of fresh milk. Actually my memory of it is quite good. Think I'll try it again.

                  Then there is always that delicious Vietnamese coffee, aside from being awake for 3 days, I love it.

                  1. re: chef chicklet
                    willownt RE: chef chicklet Nov 19, 2007 03:34 PM

                    My grandma often uses evaporated milk alias "pet milk" (I couldn't bring myself to seriously use that expression) in her coffee too! I have no idea why, though. Since she only cooks with milk (doesn't drink it), maybe because it comes in a small container? Hmm, I'll have to ask her.

                    1. re: willownt
                      lady_grey RE: willownt Nov 22, 2007 07:42 AM

                      "Pet" is an old brand of evaporated milk! I just came across it while trying to figure out the difference between evaporated and condensed for my pumpkin pie. Here's the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/1962-ad-Pet-evapo...

                      Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

                      1. re: willownt
                        heidelbergjoan RE: willownt May 2, 2013 11:44 AM

                        I bet your grandmother is German! Germans usually use evaporated milk in coffee. Every office seems to have a small can with a tiny hole in it next to the coffee pot. Someone told me it is a holdover from WWII when there was no cream and little milk.

            2. Antilope RE: Den Nov 18, 2007 03:19 PM

              You can use sweetened condensed milk to make Dulce de leche, a wonderful Latin American caramel.

              Homemade Dulce de Leche

              I make it in a pressure cooker with canned sweetened condensed milk. Remove can label. Place sealed can in pressure cooker and cover completely with water. Seal pressure cooker. Bring up to pressure and set timer for 30-minutes. After 30-minutes at full pressure turn off heat. Let pressure fall naturally. When pressure is gone open pressure cooker. Place pressure cooker in sink and flush interior with cold water. Fill pressure cooker with cold water and let stand for a half hour to allow canned sweetended condensed milk to completely cool. Open can and enjoy.

              1. v
                violabratsche RE: Den Nov 18, 2007 05:11 PM

                I don't have a pressure cooker. I've always made the caramelised sweetened condensed milk in a large kettle, boiled gently, for ...I think it's 3 hours, IN the can. It was perfect for filling home made chocolates!!


                2 Replies
                1. re: violabratsche
                  Antilope RE: violabratsche Nov 19, 2007 01:40 AM

                  It does take 3-hours to caramelize sweetened condensed milk on the stove top, inside the can. Don't allow the boiling water level to uncover the can or it could burst. The two advantages of using a pressure cooker are shorter cooking time (30-minutes) and little chance of bursting the can. Even if it were to burst, it would be contained inside the pressure cooker.

                  1. re: Antilope
                    Chuckles the Clone RE: Antilope Nov 20, 2007 12:02 AM

                    It cooks in a stovetop open pot in about 30-45 minutes. All of the pv=nrt things that a pressure cooker is good for are inapplicable in this case because the can is rigid and completely sealed. Water level doesn't affect the danger of explosion (which is essentially zero in any case). Even if the can did rupture, since milk is a mostly incompressible fluid there's not going to be much energy released and thus not much of an explosion.

                2. c
                  Curmudgeon RE: Den Nov 19, 2007 03:33 AM

                  This might seem very odd but I was looking for a recipe for pumpkin pie made with sweetened condensed milk last week rather than evaporated milk. I have not made this recipe, but if the rest of Den's question is "did I get the right thing to make pumpkin pie?" then Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk says YES!

                  Sweetened condensed milk pumpkin pie
                  1 can of pumpkin (15 ounces)
                  1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
                  2 eggs
                  3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
                  1/2 teaspoon of salt
                  1 9 inch unbaked pie crust

                  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

                  In a medium bowl whisk together eggs pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice and salt until smooth.

                  Pour into unbaked crust and bake for 15 minutes.

                  Cover the edges of the pie with tin foil.

                  REDUCE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 350 and continue baking for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the crust comes out clean.

                  Cool. Garnish with whip cream.

                  Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator.

                  Adapted from: Eagle Brand

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Curmudgeon
                    willownt RE: Curmudgeon Nov 19, 2007 07:22 AM

                    You're right -- we all missed this.

                    Obviously, if you use sweetened condensed milk, you would skip adding the sugar to the pie. Your recipe reflects this. I wonder how the taste is. I love the caramely taste of cooked sugar.

                    1. re: Curmudgeon
                      paulj RE: Curmudgeon Nov 19, 2007 08:08 AM

                      In comparison, one pumpkin pie recipe in Joy of Cooking calls for 1 1/2c of light cream or evaporated milk (or a mix of milk and heavy cream), and 3/4 c of sugar (roughly the same amount of pumpkin and eggs). In effect for a dish like this, evaporated milk + sugar = sweetened condensed.

                      1. re: paulj
                        LAcupcake RE: paulj Nov 19, 2007 03:43 PM

                        I made pumpkin pies this weekend using the Libby's recipe on theside of the can. the recipe calls for two cans of evaporated milk but I used one evaporated and one condensed. I only cut the sugar by about 1/4 cup and I still had very nice results. I imagine that you could still add a reduced amount of sugar to recipes that call for condensed milk.

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