After my recent debut with desserts in a slow cooker, I got excited and learned a lesson at the same time. I didn’t think it was true but guess what? Size does matter!
I started with a basic recipe that gives instructions for using a 3- to 4-quart slow cooker to turn condensed milk into caramel. Well, I have a 6-quart Crock Pot. I watched the clock and let my milk cook for 9 hours (according to the instructions). Even on low heat, I overcooked my caramel. The flavor was good, but the color was too dark and the texture was way off. (Anyone who knows me knows I have serious texture issues). So I tried again checking my milk-to-caramel progress after 4 hours on low. What worked was 4 ½ hours.
My suggestion- don’t try this for the first time the same day you are having people over (unless you have a backup plan). Here’s the full recipe with some more thoughts at the bottom. Enjoy!
Chocolate Caramel Pie
1 chocolate cookie pie crust
1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (or to taste)
Pour the condensed milk into a 2 cup glass measuring cup.
Place it in the slow cooker.
Fill the slow cooker with boiling water to match the level of milk.
Cover glass measure with foil.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 4 ½ hours (or appropriate time for milk to turn a light caramel color)
Carefully remove glass measuring cup from slow cooker and pour caramelized milk into the pie crust. You may want to stir it up first to make sure it’s smooth.
Allow to cool for 1 hour (or overnight in the refrigerator)
Pour heavy cream into a bowl. Add vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on high until thickening starts. Add sugar. Continue mixing until light and fluffy. If you’ve never made it before, you now have homemade whipped cream!
Gently pour on top of caramel and smooth evenly over the top.
Notes from my experience
Other than my major realization, there are a couple of other thoughts worth sharing and some photos below.
- I added a layer of mini chocolate chips between the caramel and the whipped cream. I think chopped up Heath bars or even banana slices would also work well.
- In a pinch, Cool Whip could be used rather than homemade whipped cream.
- A graham cracker crust is also an option, but I’m a chocolate girl.
- This is a very rich dessert so watch your slice size!
Want to know more about my Crock It! series? You can read all about it here.