Shelf-stable canned evaporated milk was all the rage in the 1920s and 1930s before refrigeration was widely available. Its creamy texture became a popular ingredient in pies, sauces, and casseroles. That creaminess is the result of removing over half of the water during the canning process. The unique flavor comes from the slight caramelization that happens during this canning process.

Even though most of us have a refrigerator and easy access to fresh milk, canned evaporated milk still has a place in our current cooking. Using reduced-fat evaporated milk instead of cream, half-and-half, or whole milk in family staples like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, cream soups, and casseroles will reduce calories and fat grams significantly without sacrificing luscious silky textures. And by adding an equal amount of water to evaporated milk it will return to its original milky consistency, but retains the caramel flavors notes.

Recipes That Use Evaporated Milk: