Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

I LOVE sweetened condensed milk and will admit to eating it straight from the can. During my recipe research I found a few recipes for making your own, which always sounded too difficult. Why make your own when you can buy it already made? After experimenting I found that it does not have to be complicated to make your own – and can even be fun! Save this recipe to try – and if nothing else – save it for when you are out of the canned variety.

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered milk

In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar, boiling water, melted unsalted butter and pure vanilla extract. Using an electric whisk beat until combined.

Add in the powdered milk and beat until thick and smooth. This will take, at high beating speed, about 7 minutes. 

Using a clean spoon taste the sweetened condensed milk. If there are sugar crystals you can taste on your tongue place bowl in microwave for one minute and beat again. Sugar needs to be completely dissolved. 

Cool to warm room temperature and store in refrigerator or use right away. 

Enjoy! 

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Chew This! Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know I have a food column in “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sunday’s each month. I love sharing my stories and recipes with everyone and this Sunday is no exception. Have you ever tried making homemade pizza dough and sauce? It is not as hard as you might think – and far superior to anything you could buy. Try it – and let me know what you think! So easy and so delicious…


Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce 

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 15th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Homemade pizza is far superior to anything you could buy…
Blaise Doubman

My family loves pizza! But really though, who doesn’t? I read somewhere once, that pizza is the most consumed food in the World, and I believe it! I can name ten pizza places right off the top of my head – all locally! I really think that pizza places are the new Starbucks. It seems there’s one popping up on every corner. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve tried most of them – ok, all of them, and none of them are as delicious as pizza you could make at home! Sure there’s more cleanup involved, and a few more dishes, but so what? Make the time to really learn what goes into your pizza. When you control the ingredients, you know exactly what you’re eating! It’s healthier and it’s a lot more fun making your own pizza, and creating memories in your kitchen, than swinging by and picking up or ordering a pizza. Make this with your husband, your wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, grandparents, grandkids… Create a memory with them to share.

I wanted to create a recipe that could be made time and time again, not just because of the ease of the recipe, but because it was flavorful and crowd-pleasing. I really believe this recipe does that. With this recipe, there’s no waiting for the dough to rise, and no messing with leavening agents that some recipes are notorious for. If you have a pizza stone, I highly recommend using it with this recipe. I haven’t used anything but a pizza stone in several years, and I find it’s well worth the investment. Every time I serve this, people rave about not only the chewy crust, but the well bodied flavor of the homemade sauce.

Homemade Pizza and Tomato Sauce

This recipe is super versatile! Top with any combination of toppings you like – pineapple, ground beef, ground sausage, mushrooms, onions, green bell peppers, jalapeños, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Munster cheese, pickles, zucchini, ham, bacon, and so forth. Let your imagination fly! It’s very important to use bread flour for this recipe. Keep it on hand – stored in an air tight container – for when you want to make this recipe again. This recipe can easily be doubled. This particular recipe makes enough for one standard medium/large pizza. If you find the pizza sticking to the pizza pan, sprinkle a little cornmeal on before stretching the dough. In place of the cranberry juice, feel free to use grape juice, pomegranate juice or for a richer flavor, red wine.

For the pizza dough…
1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
1 ½ teaspoons white granulated sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 ½ cups bread flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

For the tomato sauce…
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ cup cranberry juice
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Start by making the tomato sauce. In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the garlic for about 90 seconds. Add the cranberry juice and simmer with the garlic for about 2 minutes. Next, add the can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, white granulated sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Stir everything together well and simmer mixture over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes.

After the mixture has thickened slightly, keep under low heat stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, make the pizza dough. Start by preheating your oven to 450-degrees F and lightly spraying your pizza pan or stone with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, dissolve the active dry yeast and white granulated sugar into the warm water. Swish this mixture around with your fingertips and allow to stand about 10 minutes.

Next, stir in the bread flour, olive oil and salt. Stir vigorously until combined and then allow the mixture to rest about 5 minutes.

Finally, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and pat into a round shape. Transfer the ball of dough to the prepared pizza pan and spread out gently with your hands, being careful not to pull or stretch the dough.

Once the dough is formed onto the pizza pan, spread with the warm tomato sauce and finish with desired toppings.

Place in preheated oven for 16-21 minutes or until golden brown.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting.

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Pat Bogue’s Homemade Caramels 

The Holiday season is fast approaching and I can not think of anything that would be as perfect of a gift as my friend Pat Bogue’s homemade caramels! I have made these before and they are by far superior to anything you can buy in the stores. Make these and give them out as gifts this Holiday season – but be sure to save enough for you! Special shoutout and thanks to my friend Pat Bogue for allowing me to share her “famous” recipe. Thanks again Pat! 

  
Pat Bogue’s Homemade Caramels 

2 sticks (8 oz.) butter
1 one pound box brown sugar
1 cup Karo light syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can Eagle-brand milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Start by greasing a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter. 

In a heavy saucepan melt and combine 2 sticks butter, brown sugar, light syrup and salt. 

Pour in Eagle-brand milk and stir to combine. Stir this mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture reaches 245 degrees F. 

Remove from heat and add in pure vanilla extract.

Pour mixture into prepared pan. 

Allow to cool at room temperature. Cut the caramels to the desired size and wrap individually in wax paper. If cut into bite-size pieces this recipe makes between 120 and 130 pieces. 

Share and enjoy!

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Photo by: Pat Bogue 

A note on the brown sugar: A pound of brown sugar – contains about 3 1/2 cups when loose and about 2 1/4 cups when packed. 

Glenna’s Butterscotch Pie with Meringue

My Grandma Barbra mentioned to me that she would love a butterscotch pie with meringue on top. I really wanted to make one for her, but I have not really “experimented” with butterscotch a lot – because I do not like it! Much like coconut – I have never liked butterscotch… At least I did not think I did.

Grandma told me she usually used a recipe in her old “Kennard Friends Church” cookbook from her friend Glenna Womack. I found the recipe and decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did! It resulted in a delicious pie that my Grandma Barbra absolutely loved! And – it made a butterscotch fan out of me…something I did not think could happen.

The pie crust recipe is my Grandma Barbra’s recipe. The butterscotch filling, and meringue is Glenna’s recipes. Shout-out and special thanks to Glenna for allowing me to share with all of you, her recipe…

Butterscotch Pie Blaise the Baker

Glenna’s Butterscotch Pie with Meringue

For the pie crust…

1 cup white all-purpose flour
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ice water

For the butterscotch filling…

3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup white all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups white whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons salted butter

For the meringue topping…

3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons white granulated sugar

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the pie crust by combining the white all-purpose flour, solid vegetable shortening and salt in a large bowl with a fork or pastry cutter. You can also use your fingers. What you are looking for here, are small “gravel-like” pieces to ensure that the shortening is throughout and combined. Next, add the ice water and stir together until a ball of dough forms. Take the dough, and place between two pieces of parchment paper.

Roll the dough until about 1/2-inch thick, between the pieces of parchment. Once rolled to 1/2-inch thickness, gently peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Place your 9-inch pie plate on top of dough, bottom of the pie plate facing you, and flip over. Gently remove the parchment, and lightly tuck your pie crust into the pie shell. If it rips or tears – that is ok. Just take a little water, and “glue” the pieces back together. It will bake fine. Homemade is the look we are going for here – not professional.

Place this in your preheated oven for 18 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

In the meantime, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually stir in the white whole milk, and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir this mixture for 2 minutes.

Once cooked, remove from the heat. In a small bowl, place the 3 egg yolks. Take a little of the hot butterscotch mixture, and stir it quickly into the eggs to temper them. This will help you not have “scrambled eggs” in the pie. Once the eggs are brought up to the same temperature as the butterscotch mixture, add everything back into the main saucepan and stir quickly. Place it back on medium heat and cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

After 2 minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the salted butter and pure vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to cool slightly.

Next, make the meringue by combining the large egg whites, pure vanilla extract and cream of tarter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer (or your arm and a wire whisk if feeling confident and strong) beat the mixture until soft peaks are formed.

Gradually add in the white granulated sugar, while still continuing to beat the egg whites. Beat this mixture until stiff peaks are formed. The whole process should take around 7 minutes depending on the speed of your mixer. If using your arm and a whisk, it will be considerable longer.

Once the stiff peaks are formed, spoon the meringue over the top of the pie, sealing to the edge of the pie. With the back of a spoon, make little “peaks” and mountains. This will give good color once baked.

Place in preheated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes until the meringue tips are golden brown.

Remove, allow to cool before cutting. Once cut and served, store in refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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