Here in Brazil it is customary to make Brigadeiro of varied flavors. The basic recipe is sweetened condensed milk and butter cooked until sticking to the pan.

It is known that, when the acidic fruit juice comes into contact with the milk, it curdles. This is the problem.

How can I cook 395g of sweetened condensed milk + 15g butter + 25ml lemon juice (or any other acid fruit juice) without it curdling?

PS.: I do not want to use essences or anything with artificial lemon flavor.

  • 1
    It should be quite easy to find lemon extract that's made with actual lemon, specifically oils extracted from the zest. Do you not want that either? And... do you want it to taste like lemon zest, or lemon juice? Lemon zest provides the actual lemon flavor people more often like in desserts; lemon juice has some citrus flavor but it's mostly just sour.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 3:58
  • 1
    The extract may satisfy me. Use only the zest leaves only a slight lemon aroma, and the exaggerated use bothers me, I don't like the texture of grated zest.
    – Suhany
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 4:02
  • 1
    Lemon juice will curdle regular milk, but sweetened condensed milk should not curdle. Key lime pie uses 150 ml lime juice to 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and does not curdle.
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 21:33
  • Wow. With me always curdles, especially when I take to cook.
    – Suhany
    Commented Jul 5, 2016 at 16:33

1 Answer 1


As someone pointed out, key lime pie (or "torta de limão com merengue" as we know it) shouldn't curdle, but it is a different type of heat we're talking about, so bear with me for a while.

A few tips:

1) Add less zest at the end of the cooking. If you add everything together, the essential oils evaporate during cooking and you lose the flavor; 2) If you want to use juice, make a white brigadeiro and add the lime juice (our "limão taiti" is actually called lime) after cooking so it doesn't curdle and preserves the flavor

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