So You Bought the Wrong Pumpkin Pie Milk

Condensed milk and condensed milk are two different products, but they can be easily confused. This is milk that comes in cans and is usually kept next to each other, often with the same cute little cow on the label. Grabbing one when you wanted to grab another is quite possible.

If this happens to you and you suddenly find that you have a can or condensed milk and your pumpkin pie recipe requires condensed milk – or vice versa – don’t panic, my friend: you can make pumpkin pie with any of them.

Any milk can be used to give your pie a rich, creamy texture. Both had about 60% of the water removed, but the condensed milk is thicker and (obviously) much sweeter. Condensed milk is also slightly fatter, so pies made from it will be silky and thick, while pies made with condensed milk will be slightly fluffier.

Luckily, you can find several pumpkin pie recipes that work for any type of milk. Recipes that use condensed milk require extra sugar; recipes that use condensed milk are not used. Libby’s recipe (the one on the back of the can) calls for condensed milk and 3/4 cup sugar, while this of all recipes calls for a can of sweetened and no added sugar. Otherwise – and a slight difference in spice – the two recipes are identical.

So, you see, picking up the “wrong” milk on a hectic last-minute shopping trip isn’t such a big deal. You can either find a recipe focused on the milk you have, or add or subtract sugar from your old familiar recipe to match the canned dairy products you have. The most important thing is not to panic. There are many things to panic about on Thanksgiving, and pie shouldn’t be one of them.


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