Who knew homemade caramel was so easy to make? I had no idea until Stephanie sent in this incredibly easy slow cooker recipe.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – You can buy this in a can, but I found it at Trader Joe’s in a plastic bottle, so that’s what I did. It cost about $2.75, so it was not the most frugal choice, but it saved me an extra trip because I didn’t have any at home. And it’s organic, if that matters to you.
- Yep, that’s it. Only one ingredient!
- Method 1 – If you buy condensed milk in a can, which is how most people find it (more affordable, too). Just remove the label off the can and put into your slow cooker. Place it on a plate or in a glass container to keep it from possibly rusting your slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker with water until it covers the cans. Cook on low for 8 hours. Open cans and you have yourself some caramel!
- Method 2 (the one I did) – I feel a little weird about cooking things in cans. I’m no BPA expert, but the chemicals in cans make me nervous. So, I decided to pour the sweetened condensed milk into glass canning jars. (This also has the advantage of you being able to watch the coloring as it cooks – so you can decide if it’s done.) Put the lids on the jars. Place in slow cooker, fill with water until it goes over the top of the jars – fully submerged. Cook on low for 8 hours – make sure water does not boil, but just simmers. Open jars and you have yourself some caramel! Plus they are already ready to store in the fridge. *Just because they are in canning jars – doesn’t mean they are shelf stable. We didn’t technically “can” them and they should be refrigerated. ?
BE CAREFUL – Cans or jars will be hot. Caramel will be hot. Make sure jars are completely submerged in water. I guess jars can explode if you don’t keep the water level high enough. So keep water level over lids!
Fast forward 8 hours and you have a nice brown caramel! I actually let mine cook TOO long – it was more like nine hours on low, so it was a bit too done. It wasn’t burned, but I think I would have liked the consistency if I would have taken it out after 7.5 – 8 hours. Just keep an eye on it. Especially keep an eye on the water level – you don’t want it dropping below the lids.
Carefully remove jars or the cans. It will be HOT. My cans sealed themselves, so I popped the lid and scooped out into single serving bowls with apples. Even if your jars seal themselves, they still need to be refrigerated – they are not properly “canned”.
My daughter LOVED the caramel (could have cared less about apples) and my son just wanted to the apples (he’s a fruit guy, not really so much into sweets). My husband loved both. ?
Serve with apples or whatever you like dipped in caramel (ideas?).