Condensed milk is cow’s milk from which water has been removed (roughly 60% of it). It is most often found with sugar added, in the form of sweetened condensed milk (SCM), to the extent that the terms “condensed milk” and “sweetened condensed milk” are often used interchangeably today. Sweetened condensed milk is a very thick, sweet product, which when canned can last for years without refrigeration if not opened. The product is used in numerous dessert dishes in many countries.
A related product is evaporated milk, which has undergone a lengthier preservation process because it is not sweetened. Evaporated milk is known in some countries as unsweetened condensed milk. Both products have a similar amount of water removed.
Condensed milk can be made from evaporated milk by mixing one volume measure of evaporated milk with one and a quarter volume measures of sugar in a saucepan, then heating and stirring the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved, then cooling. It can also be made by simmering regular milk and sugar until it is reduced by 60%.