Remember the baked chocolate meringues I made last week? Well, I knew that I had to bake extra to use as cookies later on and I had one particular filling in mind. Milk jam. Caramelized milk flavor is a big part of my childhood memories. I have written about it a lot in fact.
My grandmother used to pasteurize the fresh, raw milk that arrived at my family’s pastry shop every morning. We had big pots specifically for this task. If you have ever seen this process, you know that the cream rises to the top and forms what is known as milk skin. That is the best part of milk in my book. This cream was used in cake making instead of butter and if any of the grandchildren were around, it became our snack. Milk skin on bread with sugar sprinkled on top. That was heaven!
Things have changed drastically and nowadays, there is no more pasteurization done on site. All the milk that comes in has gone through too much pasteurization if you ask me! The other memory I have is my grandmother making arroz con leche and the entire house smelling like caramelized cinnamon milk. The best smell in the world.
Milk jam is a similar concept where different kinds of milks are cooked with sugar, reduced and caramelized. At the end, a bit of gelatin helps the milk solidify and become jam-like. I sandwiched the chocolate meringue cookies with the milk jam. Once the cookies are assembled, they must be eaten right away because the meringue starts to melt with the moisture of the jam. I really was dreaming of a hot cup of chocolate with floating marshmallow and these cookies do the trick. The instantly melt in the hot liquid.
This recipe is adapted from Sebastien Thieffine’s recipe
150 grams organic heavy cream
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
40 grams sugar
25 grams condensed milk
25 grams dry milk
300 grams organic whole milk
1 sheet gelatin
Place the first six ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour until we are left with 300 grams of liquid. I had to weigh the base twice to see if I had reached the 300 grams. If you have reduced it too far, do not worry and add a bit more cream but it’s best to be precise since the beauty of this jam is the caramelization that forms.
Once we have 300 grams of the reduced liquid, softened the gelatin in ice water and add it to the hot liquid. Strain the base through a sieve and pour into the jam jars. Let it cool before refrigerating it.
You can eliminate the gelatin from the recipe but the result will be a dulce de leche like consistency, which don’t get me wrong, I love too! But I wanted a filling for the cookies so I needed a little bit more thickness to the cream.
It’s going to be a perfect laid back Sunday afternoon…