We have been participants in the Deck Family Farm dairy herd share for about two years now. The flavor of raw milk is so good – totally different from store milk. Recently we ended up with extra milk. We just didn't drink it as fast as we usually do. I was thinking of making the extra into yogurt, inspired by my friend's post about making her own yogurt.
But then Papa-Bug showed me Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Dulce de Leche from scratch, no sweetened condensed milk involved. Really…why would I make yogurt when I could make that?
Smitten Kitchen's recipe is very simple. It's not even that attention consuming. My brother came over with his son and we had a play date, chatting, eating lunch, and periodically stirring our carmelizing milk. From a half gallon of milk (plus sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon) we each got about a pint of heaven to eat with a spoon.
So what did we do with that Dulce de Leche? Well… It was good on a spoon. And in popovers one morning. And on the second of February we made crepes.
We always make crepes on the second of February. It's Imbolc or Candlemas – a day on the circle of the year to welcome back the sun. It translates to a Catholic holy day as well, and a French teacher once told me that in France, February 2nd is called Chandeleur and celebrated with crepes – piles and piles of golden crepes – to represent the golden candleglow of the holy day. Now, I will eat crepes for any reason and that seems like a particularly good one. So annually we welcome back the glow of the sun with our golden crepes.
For these crepes I used some more extra milk to make a simple soft cheese that I flavored with a little vanilla syrup. Each crepe got a filling of soft cheese, a spoonful of Dulce de Leche, and had more Dulce de Leche drizzled over the top. It got rave reviews from everyone at the table and Brother-Bug told me that I am the best cook ever. So I'll call that a success.
It was so good. And there was a little Ducle de Leche left over.
Our little valley has been snowed in for the weekend. So we made cookie bars. Another Smitten Kitech recipe. (I got the cookbook for Christmas and have been a little obsessed with it…) This weekend we made Gooey Cinnamon Bars from the book. Basically they are an excuse to eat a stick of butter. My favorite kind of cookie.
And then Papa-Bug said, “You know what would gild this lilly…” Whenever he says that it likely means something gastronomically amazing.
With the last of the Dulce de Leche we made sundaes. A Gooey Cinnamon Bar on the bottom, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and all topped with the Dulce de Leche. And that lilly was well and truly gilded. The bars by themselves were so good. The Dulce de Leche was amazing. The combination was a perfect dessert.
And now the Dulce de Leche is all gone.
But that's okay because I know how to make more.