Though I’m not much of a sweets person, I’m generally a sucker for anything with caramel, and cajeta (dulce de leche with goat’s milk) is no exception. I was excited to see this recipe on Smitten Kitchen. It’s super easy, though I found it took a bit longer than the recipe called for (I possibly didn’t have the temperature high enough, though).
1 to 2-inch segment of vanilla bean (optional)
1 quart whole milk (cow or goat, or a combination thereof; I used goat)
1 cup granulated or raw sugar
2-inch segment of cinnamon stick (optional)
1/4 teaspoon coarse or flaky sea salt (optional, but ooh, it’s good here)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out seeds and place them, along with the empty vanilla pods, milk, sugar, cinnamon and salt into a pot. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat and slowly stir in the baking soda-water mixture.
Return the mixture to the stove and keep it at a brisk simmer. Cook, checking in on it occasionally (every 15 minutes) to give it a stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom, until the mixture turns a light brown, about 1 hour (though it took mine more in the 75-90 minute range).
Check in on and stir the mixture more frequently (about every 5 minutes) as it begins to take on a caramel-brown color and thickens to the consistency of maple syrup, then plant yourself in front of the stove and stir the mixture until it reaches a deeper copper color.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and into jars. Use immediately, or cool completely, storing in the fridge for up to one month with an airtight lid.