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Thread: About evaporated milk

  1. #1
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    About evaporated milk

    I'm looking at various mac 'n' cheese recipes for tomorrow's dinner (leaning toward the Martha Stewart recipe since it gets such rave reviews) and it's not uncommon for them to call for evaporated milk, as do a few soup recipes. I'm guessing it has to do with consistency? Just curious what exactly it does that regular milk doesn't.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #2

    Hope this helps

    Evaporated milk is a shelf-stable canned milk product with about 60% of the water removed from fresh milk. In the U.S., it is not sweetened. It differs from condensed milk which contains sugar. Condensed milk requires less processing because the added sugar inhibits bacterial growth.

    Evaporated milk was popular before refrigeration as a substitute for perishable fresh milk, because it could be reconstituted by adding water. In present times, household use is most often for desserts and baking. When mixed with an equal amount of water, it can be substituted for fresh milk in recipes.
    Enjoy, Debbie

    Viva e lascia vivere - - - Live and Let Live

  3. #3
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    Thanks. What I'm wondering is why recipes specify evaporated milk rather than regular milk, which one is more likely to have on hand. Does the removal of water lend a creamier consistency? I've used it in soup recipes where you'd think the difference would be obvious, but I didn't get it.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  4. #4
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    Things like macaroni and cheese always seem to have a richer flavor to me when made with evaporated milk. So I would guess more for richness and flavor. Just as you reduce liquids to get a richer flavor when making stock, etc.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  5. #5
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    It adds more depth and creaminess. My mom taught me to cook, and I follow her example of canned milk in mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, and virtually any dish that contains milk. And if I don't have any on hand, I add sour cream at the end. (Sometimes both. No wonder we all grew up chubby. )
    Just another Susan

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  6. #6
    Didn't know that lil bo peep, thanks!

    Viva e lascia vivere - - - Live and Let Live

  7. #7
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    Yes, evaporated milk gives some of the thickness and richness of cream, without the fat or the perishibleness. (perishability? hmm.) When I was growing up, that's what my parents used in their coffee rather than milk or cream. In fact, they called it "canned cream" and that's what we always called it growing up.

  8. #8
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    Evaporated milk usually has stabilizers added to it, so it doesn't separate when heated. Helps your Macaroni and Cheese stay creamy when cooked.

    Cook's Country for May has an article & recipe for Potluck Macaroni and Cheese using evaporated milk with explanation of the stabilizers effect.

  9. #9
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    Thanks, everyone! Very helpful.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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