Caramel Pie

June 12, 2008 at 11:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In 2006, I heard about a recipe for making caramel pie (similar to the one at O’Charley’s) where you boil cans of sweetened condensed milk for several hours and – voila – you have caramel pie filling! I remember it was 2006 because my parents were on a post-Katrina road trip to New Orleans, and when I mentioned this new recipe to my dad on the phone he said that it didn’t really sound safe to boil metal cans of anything – they might explode. So, I searched for an alternative method, which led me to microwaving the sweetened condensed milk until it caramelized. This seemed like a pretty good method, so I poured the caramel filling into the pie crust and waited for it to “set up.” When I went to slice the pie, I realized it had turned into a hard brick of caramel, which was completely inedible. I tossed the pie and abandoned my hopes of ever making caramel pie.

…until recently. I again mentioned the idea to my dad, and he said, “Yeah, that would probably work.” Oh parents. After I got over the shock of his tremendous change of heart, I set to work on making this caramel pie.  So this is pretty basic.  You put 2 or 3 (I did 4, to be the safe side) cans of unopened, label-removed, sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand milk) in a pot and cover them with water.  Bring to a soft boil and boil for three hours.  Do NOT let the water get down below the cans because then they will explode!  If you use a large stock pot, this shouldn’t be a problem.  It will look like this:

Now let the cans cool, open them, and pour it into the pie crust.  I ended up using three whole cans:

Now decorate it however you see fit!  I whipped some heavy cream and piped it on, then topped it with walnuts and mini chocolate chips:

Make sure you refrigerate at least a few hours before serving so the caramel can really firm up.  This was really delicious and definitely worth the safety risk!  Enjoy.


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  1. I love caramel and making it is a lot of fun too. I had a ball making these homemade caramel apples by Martha Stewart. Perfect for Halloween!

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