Alright, for all the non-believers out there...I promise, this recipe really does work, and with a little time and a lot of patience, you WILL have beautiful, thick, caramel-y dulce de leche.
I altered this recipe a tiny bit (I didn't use a whole gallon of milk, and lessened the amounts of the rest of the ingredients accordingly. When I was about 30 minutes into the final stage (stirring, stirring, stirring), and still just had hot vanilla milk, I too was quite discouraged. I tried playing around with the heat a little, and finally found that keeping it on high heat (it will constantly attempt to boil and foam over--just keep stirring) did the trick. After about 2 hours total (roughly an hour and a half of the final stirring stage), I couldn't believe my eyes when it FINALLY turned the promised golden brown, and thickened beautifully. All in all, the "milk jam" takes about 2 hours, more or less, of your time--and is well worth the wait. Stick it out! You won't regret it!
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Alright, for all the non-believers out there...I promise, this recipe really does work, and...