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Ready to make a pie or a recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk and you are out and don’t have time to run to the grocery store? Here is the solution.

How to make sweetened condensed milk:

In a medium saucepan combine two cups whole milk and one cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered without stirring for 45 minutes or until reduced to one and a half cups. Remove and cool. Used once cooled or transfer to a storage container. This homemade sweetened condensed milk makes enough to substitute one 15-ounce can. Multiply based on your recipe needs. Chill up to one week (mixture will thicken as it chills). You can substitute evaporated milk for sweetened condensed milk by following the instruction above for making sweetened condensed milk except use one 12-ounce can of evaporated milk and 3/4 cup sugar and cook for 30 minutes. The recipes below use sweetened condensed milk.

Silky Pumpkin Pie

3 large eggs

1/3 cup sugar

1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin puree (See below) or one 15-ounce can pumpkin

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Salt

1 pre-baked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, condensed milk, pumpkin and butter to thoroughly combine. In a small bowl, mix together flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and a pinch of salt; stir into pumpkin mixture. Pour pumpkin filling into pie shell. Place filled pie tin on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until filling is set around edges and slightly loose in center. Cool on wire rack for one hour. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Note: Sweetened condensed milk is what gives this pumpkin pie its silken texture.

When mixing ingredients for the filling, mix just enough to combine thoroughly. If bubbles form, it is time to stop mixing.

Pumpkin Puree: Cut one small pie pumpkin in half; scoop out seeds. Place pumpkin cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour, until soft. Scoop flesh from pumpkin into a bowl. Mash pumpkin with a potato masher.

Baked Pie Shell: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pastry as directed. Line chilled pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for eight minutes. Remove foil, Bake for six to eight minutes more or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge

1 12 ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces (2 cups)

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (one-half of a 14-ounce can)

1 tablespoon water

3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted if desired

1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or waxed paper; set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, and water. Microwave, uncovered, on 100 percent power (high) for one minute; stir. Microwave about one minute more, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and spread it into a 9x6-inch rectangle, or drop mixture by rounded teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Chill fudge about 30 minutes or until firm. Cut fudge into one to one and a half inch squares. Makes 24 pieces

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