Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #3 and there were no explosions

The reason the recipe this week is out of my comfort zone in NOT because of using an ingredient I don’t like or because it seems like a weird ingredient combo. It is because right in the recipe directions there is the phrase “or the cans will explode”.

We’re talking canned cans, which are much thicker than pop cans. I have heard (but never seen) a can of Diet Coke explode. And I have cleaned up several DC can explosions in the freezer (you know, cooling it down quickly then forgetting about it) and in the car (winter time in WI). If a thin pop can can create that much of a bang and a mess, I don’t even want to be around a regular can exploding. And I just had to think of the poor people who discovered that they do explode if you let the water boil dry. Also, I just cannot imagine ‘covered with water’ being such a magical thing to keep a can from exploding. So, because of these reasons is why I’ve never made this, even though I always thought it sounded so good!

But, here we are, kitchen still intact, no wild stories to tell, and a delicious dessert eaten!

Eagle Brand Milk and Pineapple Rings

Remove labels from Eagle Brank milk cans.

Set 4 cans in 4 qt stainless steel kettle. I did only 2 cans and used a smaller kettle because I don’t have a bigger kettle, but that’s another story… what happened to my big kettle. Fill with cold water. Turn on medium high heat until it cooks, then turn down to medium.

Keep adding warm water. Do not let the water evaporate or the cans will explode. Boil for 3 hours. Cool. Drain cooled pineapple rings and arrange on plate. (One can of Eagle Brand milk should be just right for 1 can of pineapple rings.)

Open both ends of the milk cans. Remove one end and press the other end so that about 1/4″ sticks out of the end. Slice along the can with a sharp wet knife, slide onto pineapple ring.


Top with Cool Whip and a cherry.

Man, this stuff is good! That milk tastes like caramel. And caramel goes great with pineapple! I’m not scared anymore to boil cans of milk and I’ll make this again sometime! I’m also going to try that ‘caramel’ in a recipe that calls for caramel and see how it tastes. That was amazing to me how a can of white liquid could turn into a can of brown solid (soft solid).

Just thought of something I should mention yet so you don’t learn the hard way like I did. If you have a Pampered Chef can opener, it’ll go on the can like this:

That works great for the one end, but not for the other end (the end that you push on) because this can opener takes the lid off, including the rim. And the rim does not fit thro’ the can when you go to push on it!

So, use a can opener that goes on the side of the can, not the top of the can. Thankfully, I kept my old Walmart can opener when I got my Pampered Chef one a few years ago!


23 Responses to “Out of My Comfort Zone Cooking #3 and there were no explosions”

  1. Amber on May 17th, 2008 12:34 pm

    My husband loves these! I personally can’t stand them…for some reason the caramel doesn’t go with the pineapple. (even though i love them both) :) Very brave of you, though!

  2. Andrea on May 17th, 2008 12:54 pm

    mmmmm! we love these things! josh’s mom often makes these and they are so tasty! your “caramel” looks so much better than mine did!

  3. rosa on May 17th, 2008 2:49 pm

    wow, this recipe brings back lots of memories. I was in Haiti for a year of VS and we made these down there alot. I bout forgot about them and will be craving them till I find time to make em again. Thanks!!

  4. Michelle on May 17th, 2008 3:03 pm

    Hmm.. I haven’t made these in quite a while. I need to again. I’m always a bit worried too when I cook the Eagle brand milk.

  5. Freida on May 17th, 2008 3:05 pm

    Yummmm!!! Now I might be brave enough to try it.

  6. Mary Faith on May 17th, 2008 4:59 pm

    Yum, yum! Does that make me hungry, or what? I love those things! And yes, those cans DO explode if you let the water boil away and it is NOT a funny explosion! Talk about carmel ALL OVER the stove, wall, and ceiling, and floor. It was a miracle no one was right there because they WOULD have gotten hurt. The explosion itself is about enough to scare several years off your life. lol But we love them too much to get freaked out about making them again. :)

  7. Jenn on May 17th, 2008 5:19 pm

    I had to comment when I saw this….I grew up with these – we called them “Wheels” and they were a tradition for us every Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Now my husband has learned to love them too and we don’t just save them for the holidays! I like to keep a couple of cooked eagle brand cans in the frij (they keep for quite a while) and then you have a quick, fancy looking dessert. Also, always use Eagle Brand milk – store brand sweetened condensed milk doesn’t cook up as nice. Mmmmm, now I’m hungry for wheels!

  8. Tamara Merritt on May 17th, 2008 5:25 pm

    I had heard of doing lots of recipes with cooked sweetened condensed milk, but never with pineapple rings. That sounds like a weird combo to me…not saying I would not like it, it just sounds weird.

    Thanks to someone up there about the tip for only using Eagle Brand.

  9. Twila on May 17th, 2008 8:57 pm

    Hmmm…I’ll bet the Jenn that commented above is my sis. I was also going to say that I grew up with these “Wheels”, and have made them often. I like to use a deep pot so you can nearly fill it with water…then you don’t need to be adding water all the time. No fear as long as you keep that pot full! As a side note, when we were in Russia we found that you can buy the already-cooked sweetened condensed milk right off the shelf….they eat it on blini (pancakes) and maybe other things. I LOVE it!

  10. Rene on May 17th, 2008 9:18 pm

    I’ve cooked the condensed milk before but just long enough to make a caramel sauce for ice cream. I’ll have to try the longer cooking to get the more solid version. These look great!!

  11. Mary Faith on May 17th, 2008 9:41 pm

    Hmmm. The tip on using Eagle Brand is interesting. I’ve always used the stuff from Aldi. I don’t THINK that’s Eagle Brand, but I haven’t used it for awhile so I could be wrong. Anyway, I’ll have to try the Eagle Brand sometime and see if I can tell a difference.

  12. Karen on May 18th, 2008 6:59 am

    These are Rondyn’s favorite and I think off brands get grainy….?

  13. Annette33 on May 18th, 2008 9:12 am

    I’ve only eaten this carmel with bizcochos, or just by the spoonful in Colombia, South America. This is a popular sweet there, but made the old fashion way, in a large pot. I found out about the canned way when older dd had to make a dish common to Colombia. The troop loved it! I will have to make it with pineapple next time. Every six months or so, I boil a can for my Colombian-born dh.

  14. Katie Mast on May 18th, 2008 9:36 am

    O i love these as well. I first had them when I was in VS at Hillcrest, in AK. We made often there. Now my kids love them boiled just 2 hours and then they are carmel and they dip apples in it. My husband is’nt to sure it’s cheaper then buying it already made, cuz of all the gas or electric you use when boiling it. BUt i think it’s just a fun thing to do. Gld you tried it, now it’s making me hungery. I will make it this week i think.

  15. Shannon on May 18th, 2008 2:25 pm

    Ohhhh, I am sooo hungry for these again. HAVE to make them!

  16. Lisa on May 18th, 2008 4:19 pm

    This does look interesting. Hmmm, might have to try these. Oh Kay, I do have to tell you I made your Mexican Lasagna tonight and it was a big hit! Check out my blog for pics.

    My neighbors loved it too. (I share, lol). Thanks for the great recipe!

  17. Twila on May 19th, 2008 6:26 am

    I made these for the first time, too, just recently, after 23 years of marriage. I’ve always been a bit nervous about the exploding part, too. But I had no disasters, I used a very deep pot, and decided to do 3 if I’m doing it anyway. I did use an off brand, and it seemed fine except it seemed a bit soft, and I thought it should have maybe been cooked abit longer. They’re good, but I don’t think I’ll make them very often, I really don’t like cooking something for that long.

  18. Jo on May 19th, 2008 11:35 am

    Now I’m drooling. :-) Wonder if I have the ingredients in my pantry right now….???

  19. Christy on May 19th, 2008 1:30 pm

    I love this dessert, but don’t make it because Steve doesn’t care for it. In Belize the ladies cooked the milk for less time and used the carmel for icing on cakes.

  20. Crystal on May 20th, 2008 8:03 am

    If you just leave sweetened condensed milk in your cabinet for a long time (not sure how long, a year maybe) it will turn in to caramel too. I have friends that label certain cans to make sure they leave them long enough and then use them for caramel later.

  21. Anna on May 20th, 2008 12:38 pm

    I’m still scared.

  22. Melissa on May 22nd, 2008 11:08 am

    I love these and have been trying to find the recipe for a long time!

  23. Mary Faith on May 29th, 2008 10:53 am

    I made these this week and I had a most interesting thing happen. I used the Eagle Brand, just out of curiosity, and you know what? It was the first time EVER that it did NOT turn out right. :0 I think I must really be strange. lol