When a recipe calls for a can of evaporated milk, did you know there’s a quick and easy substitute you can use instead? This little trick will let you make a homemade version of evaporated milk and it’s easy on the budget too!
What Is Evaporated Milk?
Evaporated milk is a shelf stable canned product made from fresh milk that has had about 60% of the water content removed. Evaporated milk first gained popularity before the days of refrigeration. If you added an equal amount of water back to a can of evaporated milk, you once again had a liquid that tasted like fresh milk.
Today, we use evaporated milk most often in recipes where we want a creamier and richer taste than just plain milk can provide.
Remember that evaporated milk is different than sweetened condensed milk which has sugar added to it (and by the way, you can also make your own sweetened condensed milk!).
2 Ways To Make Your Own Evaporated Milk
Because evaporated milk is fresh milk with some of the water removed, there are a couple ways you can go about creating a homemade version. One way is to boil milk down to about half its volume. However this takes a little more watching and stirring and guestimating on when you’ve reached about half of what you started with.
Instead, I like this method that uses powdered milk at twice the ratio to water as you would normally use it. This also give you a creamier milk product with less water in it that you can stir together in just a few seconds and works great.
Here’s how to do it.
DIY EVAPORATED MILK
1-1/4 cups Water
1 cup Dry Milk Powder
Yup, that’s it for the directions. Just measure out your water and stir in the powdered milk. Powdered milk dissolves almost instantly in water so with very minimal stirring you’ll have your DIY evaporated milk ready to go.
The measurements in this recipe will equal a 12 oz can of evaporated milk.
Now, the math-minded brains among us may be reading the recipe up there and are thinking “Isn’t 1-1/4 cups equal to 10 ounces? How can this be equal to a 12 ounce can? Explain yourself please!”
I wondered this too and found that when you add in the 1 cup of dry milk powder, the mixture increases in volume and you end up with exactly 12 ounces. Yay!
I tried this recipe as a substitute for evaporated milk in my favorite tuna chowder and it worked perfectly.
I’m also going to be using my DIY evaporated milk for making my Thanksgiving pumpkin pies in a few weeks (click here for a pumpkin pie recipe using homemade pumpkin puree).