A humble campo dessert, dulce de leche cortada (curdled milk fudge) is one of my favorite Dominican classics: inexpensive, simple, easy-to-make, and it combines sweet and sour flavors. And it is this last point that makes it a favorite for me, and why I can't say no to one.
Why we ❤️ it
There are two ways to make dulce de leche cortada: the campo-style, simple, uncomplicated one that was created to make some use of soured or curdled milk in the days before refrigeration, and the more refined – and safer – one made with fresh milk, and with extra flavors.
I have tried both – my grandma and mom made it at home with curdled milk – but the more modern method is my preferred one, not just because it's safer, but also because I love the citrus touch, the added raisins or prunes, and the custardy chunks of milk that are firm but still smooth.
Curdled milk fudge
The original version of this recipe was made with fresh raw milk that would have started to turn sour or curdled. Only sugar and sometimes cinnamon was added, and the result was smaller chunks of milk protein, in a slightly sour syrup.
I don't have access to fresh raw milk that has curdled – and I don't feel like taking the risk, to be honest. So the more modern method is my preferred one: adding lime juice to the milk to make it curdled without bacterial action.
Aside from using pasteurized milk, this method has the added bonus of enhancing the flavors with a lovely citrus taste.
Another modern enhancement is adding eggs to the milk mixture. The eggs make for soft, "custardy" chunks, while without them they are more chewy and dry. I certainly prefer the egg version.
Dulce de leche cortada and ingredients.
This is a common dessert to finish a Dominican lunch, served alongside a Dominican cafecito and a glass of chilled water.
If you like dulce de leche cortada, you might also love our dulce de leche dominicano recipe.
- While I prefer lime juice to curdle the milk, and because it is acid enough to imitate the flavor of traditional curdled milk, I prefer to also add some orange zest, but if you don't have oranges at hand, it's OK to use lime zest only.
- I love adding prunes to this, a trick that I picked a long time ago from one of my favorite Santo Domingo bakeries, but raisins are more common. Some people don't add either, so if you dislike them, leave them out.
About our recipe
I wish I could give myself credit for this, but this is a somewhat old "new" take on this tradition. I've eaten this dish made this way countless times.
Each ingredient in it is something I've tried before made by other Dominican cooks.
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Dulce de Leche Cortada [Recipe + Video] Curdled Milk Fudge
- ¾ cup sugar (white, granulated)
- 1 egg (medium), at room temperature
- 2½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- ½ teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup raisins, or prunes (optional)
- ¼ cup lime juice
- Combine sugar and egg, stirring until they are well mixed. Stir in the milk. Sieve to eliminate undissolved egg parts. Mix in cinnamon, lime and orange zest, and prunes.
- Simmer over low heat. Once it breaks the boil, pour in the lime juice in different spots. Simmer without stirring unless it is sticking to the pot. The milk mixture will eventually (about 10 mins) curdle, and chunks will float in thin syrup.Once the thin syrup has reduced to about half, remove it from the heat and cool to room temperature. Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Chill before serving.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.