Dulce de Leche and Apples

Last week I was talking with my good friend Deb who lives in Michigan.  Deb is an amazing cook.  She was having dinner guests that evening and was describing the menu to me – if Deb was making it I knew it would be good.  So of course I asked for the recipes.

My parents were coming for dinner last Sunday so it was the perfect opportunity to try out one of Deb’s recipes – Dulce de Leche and Apples.

I am a big dulce de leche fan since our visit to Argentina several years ago.  Dulce de leche is pretty much a staple in that country.  Dulce de leche is like a thick caramel sauce – yum!  They serve it on everything in Argentina.  At our hotel the breakfast buffet would have a huge, punch bowl size container of dulce de leche every morning.  You could spread it on your toast, pour it over your fruit or just eat it straight like I did!

So when Deb sent me this dessert recipe that used dulce de leche I knew I had to try it – and I am so glad I did!!

This is a simple dessert – ice cream, browned apples and dulce de leche.  You almost think it’s healthy because there are apples in it!!  But it is one of those desserts that after you finish it – you keep thinking about it.  While we were playing cards after dinner more than one of us said out loud, ” That dessert was really good!”

In fact, since we had some left over dulce de leche I browned up a few more apples after school yesterday and Tessa and I enjoyed it again.  And it was just as good the second time!

Making your own dulce de leche is an easy process – it just takes time.  Dulce de leche literally means “sweet milk” and is basically sweetened condensed milk that has been boiled, in the can, for at least an hour and a half.  You need to plan ahead to make the dulce de leche but it can be done ahead of time and just refrigerated until you are ready to use it.

The apples are just browned in butter until they are brown and soft – not mushy.  Then just sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

browned apples

The apples above are about half way there.  Not quite brown or soft enough.

Here is the finished product – yum!!  Just scoop up some good vanilla ice cream, add the apples and then drizzle on LOTS of dulce de leche!  Eat immediately!!!!

dulce de leche and apples - Page 228

Dulce de Leche and Apples
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼ in. slices (I usually use a mix of apples)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Good quality vanilla ice cream
  • Dulce de Leche, warmed
Dulce de Leche
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.
  2. Add apple slices and saute for about 10 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.
  3. Sprinkle sugar over apples and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they are nicely browned and softened but not mushy
  4. Remove from heat and keep warm
  5. (Sometimes I sprinkle a little cinnamon in with the sugar too.)
  6. Scoop ice cream into individual bowls
  7. Spoon warm apples over and then the warm dulce de leche over the apples.
  8. Serve immediately
Dulce de Leche
  1. Put unopened can of condensed milk in large heavy saucepan that is higher than the can.
  2. Add water to come about three-quarters of the way up the sides of the can and bring to a simmer over medium heat
  3. Reduce heat to a very low simmer, partially cover and cook, turning the can over at the halfway point (45 minutes), for a total of 1½ hours
  4. (You can remove the wrapper in the water with tongs when it falls off.)
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat
  6. Let the can cool in the pan of water until it reaches room temperature
  7. Open the can and pour the contents into a small bowl
  8. Stir in the vanilla
  9. The mixture should be very thick and taste like a rich caramel sauce
  10. Cover and refrigerate
Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. says

    This looks soooo good! We used to do dulce le leche this way in college, but I never thought to serve it with ice cream. Can’t wait to try it!

  2. says

    Yum!!! Alan served his mission down on the border of Texas, and told me of a time he and his companion tried to make their own dulce de leche. Something went wrong – too much time on the stove, not enough water, whatever. The end result was an exploded can of sticky milk all over the kitchen. At least it’s the sort of mess you can lick your fingers while cleaning up :).

  3. says

    Umm. I want to try this, but am nervous. The can doesn’t explode? Laugh if you want, but you REALLY did this and the heat inside the can did not cause the can to bulge?

  4. says

    Melinda »

    The can really didn’t explode – I promise. I know this is the way they make it down in Argentina also. I remember asking someone who’s house we ate at how she did it – she boiled it for a lot longer though. The longer you boil it the thicker and more caramelly it gets. Just be sure to keep refilling the pan with water so it doesn’t all boil away! Try it!!

  5. Tamara says

    Yum! Yum! The women in Brazil did this all the time when I was there. They did it in a pressure cooker–dulce de leite. They would cook it so long that it was thick and we would just eat with a spoon all by itself.

    THANKS for sharing!

  6. says

    I have heard you can do this in the crock pot on low for 4 hours are each side. Maybe that will be less scary for those afraid of an exploding pan?

  7. Catherine says

    I knew a lady at my old church who made “Boiled Can Pie”. Basically, she boiled a can of sweetened condensed milk for 3 – 4 hours (of course, you have to keep an eye on it to keep it covered with water), then emptied the can into a graham cracker crust. She usually topped it with a layer of Cool Whip and then kept it refrigerated till she served it. It was wonderful!! She also sometimes mixed the boiled can’s contents with a package of instant chocolate pudding, then made a pie like above. Also good. I hadn’t thought about those pies in years. I made one once and could not believe how easy it was. The caramel is delicious!! Anyway, I’m going to try your dulce de leche with apples. I think my boys will love it – and who knows, maybe I’ll even get my husband to eat an apple!!!

  8. says

    Catherine »

    The pie sounds amazing. The dulce de leche in this recipe doesn’t get as thick as what you probably had in the pie because it only boils for 1 1/2 hours but you could boil it longer if you wanted it thicker and more caramelly but it is pretty darn tasty after only an hour and a half too! I may just have to give that pie a try!! Thanks for sharing

  9. says

    This sounds so delish! My hubby is from Buenos Aires and although he isn’t a big fan of “sweet” things in general he loves Dulce de Leche. He spreads it on toast. We have never made our own so I am anxious to try and make it. He makes a mean Empanada and his Milanesas are to die for. Thanks for all of your awesome recipes. In fact, DH is at the store getting ing. for the White Choc. Popcorn concoction right now. I tell everyone I know about your site so I hope they are visiting it.

  10. Jenn says

    I made this last night at my sister in laws house. Everyone loved it! The dulce de leche wasn’t as thick as I thought it was going to be but still delicious. Maybe I’ll try it in the crockpot next time. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  11. Danee Davis says

    Leigh Anne, As always,your recipe was a HUGE hit for our FHE treat. The next person in charge of the treat is a little worried that they will not be able to top that. I have passed your blog around to my friends here in California and you have quite a following. In fact, I was at a dinner party on Friday night and we made your Thai noodle salad. everyone was raving over it, and my friend said, “Is this from Your Home Based Mom?” I have been wanting to try that. You are famous in our little corner of the world!

  12. says

    Ahh… I already had my can boiling when I started reading the comments from all the people scared to try this method. Luckily my can did not explode and is in the cool to room temperature phase. I’m excited to try it! Especially not licking it off the ceiling. :)

  13. Ara says

    Yum! It’s dulce the leche. Another exciting and delicious recipe! I’m very glad that I came here. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s easy, sweet and yummy! I know I can do this, it’s easy as 1-2-3. mmm…I would really try this and have it as my dessert in the office. Or this will be a good preparation for my nephew’s pack lunches. =)

  14. says

    I make my dulce de leche in half pint canning jars rather than boiling the can. I worry about what’s in the can that may leach into the condensed milk. Plus, by pouring it into canning jars then boiling (as in this recipe), you can monitor how dark the dulce is getting. I like mine rather dark, so being able to monitor it (which you can’t do when it’s in the can) is a benefit to me.

    Another recipe to try with dulce de leche is Bannoffe pie. It’s truly a swoon-worthy dessert!


  1. […] I have shared with you my love for dulce de leche which  began several years ago when we had the privilege of traveling to Argentina to pick up our son Logan who was serving a mission for our church there.  We fell in love with the country and with dulce de leche.   Dulce de leche is a rich, thick caramel sauce made from sweetened condensed milk.   I have made a couple of different versions of dulce de leche here on the blog including crockpot dulce de leche and one is a version that is done on the stove top. […]

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