December 22, 2014

Making Pumpkin Pie Without Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is something that has always mystified me. Milk is liquid, and yet this is evaporated milk. Wouldn't that make it a solid? Or invisible? Ok, all joking aside, evaporated milk is heat-treated to remove some of the water, making it more concentrated as well as shelf-stable.


The ingredients in evaporated milk are milk, dipotassium phosphate, carrageenan, and vitamin D3. I know that carrageenan is a thickener, but I've never even heard of dipotassium phosphate. But evaporated milk is a kitchen staple so I've always had a couple of cans in my cupboard. Well, almost always.

A few years ago I was going to make pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin, but didn't have a can of evaporated milk. I used fresh goat milk instead, reducing the amount a bit since fresh pumpkin has more liquid than canned pumpkin. It worked fine.

Photo by Mary Woollard, used with permission
This year, on the day before Thanksgiving when I pulled out all the ingredients to make my pies, I realized I was out of evaporated milk again. I thought I had a can in the cupboard but I couldn't find it. I did a quick Google search on how to replace the evaporated milk in pumpkin pies:

This blogger at Mama's Weeds used 3/4 cup heavy cream instead of the can of evaporated milk. She added an extra egg to help the pie set up.

Someone at My Recipes suggested using regular milk plus 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch to firm up the pie.

The Healthy Home Economist uses coconut milk instead of evaporated milk.

GourmetSleuth says that for 1 cup of evaporated milk, you can substitute 1 cup half-and-half, 1 cup heavy cream OR 1 cup whole milk.

The Anytime Gourmet suggested using 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, or a combination of 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk as a substitute for a 20-ounce can of evaporated milk.

I had half-and-half on hand, so I used 1 cup of the half-and-half and 1/2 cup of whole milk. I could have used half-and-half for the entire amount, but I wanted to save the other cup in the carton for broccoli and cheddar soup later in the week.

Our pies were super-creamy and rich. Delicious! We'll be eating rich, creamy pumpkin pies from now on whether or not I have a can of evaporated milk.


This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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12 comments:

  1. Good information on substitutions, Kathi. Thank you.

    Fern

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  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead10:51 AM

    Thank you, Fern. I'm glad you stopped by.

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  3. Great information! My evaporated milk was expired for my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie....so I made something else ;-)

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  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead4:33 PM

    Evaporated milk really doesn't have a very long shelf life, less than one year from what I read on the Carnation website. I'm too far from town to make a trip for just one item too. I like knowing what I can substitute for things. :-)

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  5. Thanks! I love to know how to substitute things. It's much better than making a trip into town.

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  6. Thanks for these tips. I also would rather use the fresh, real ingredients! I have made mine with cream before and it was tasty.

    I will be pinning this to my Homemaking Tips board.

    Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays :)

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  7. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:17 AM

    I agree, Jody. Going to town takes over an hour for me - the drive there, fighting my way through the big box store, and driving home. I won't do that for just one item - although when my son first got his license he was very willing to do it for me!

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  8. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:18 AM

    Jes, I'm the same way, I prefer to use "real" ingredients as fresh as possible. Thank you so much for the pin.

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  9. I have never made a pumpkin pie but have been wanting to give it a go, thanks for the ideas, I prefer to use real ingredients too. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  10. This is great to know- I always have fresh cream on hand, and I will use it to replace evaporated milk in the future :)

    I've always used sweetened condensed milk instead of evaporated milk in my pumpkin pies- after trying it once, I never went back. Delicious!

    Thanks so much for sharing :)

    Erin
    www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

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  11. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead1:29 PM

    I bet that sweetened condensed milk made it taste yummy, Erin.

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  12. Very good to know! That's not a normal pantry staple for me, so I love knowing I can switch it up! Thanks for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!

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