I use to buy this stuff all the time. But no longer. Now I make it myself. It's inexpensive, so simple to make and I think it tastes even better than the store bought.
The traditional way to make this is to simply drop a can of sweetened condensed milk into a pot of simmering water for about 3 hours. Let it cool then open the can.
If you decide to use the pan method. First make sure it's always completely submerged in water or the can could possibly explode. That's why I don't like this method. It's also hard to tell when ready
Also do not attempt to open the can until its cooled. If its opened while hot the pressure in the can will shoot the hot caramel all over and can easily burn you.
Another option is to pour the sweetened condensed milk into a double boiler. Then heat (stirring often) until it reaches the desired thickness and color (caramelized).
This guide will show you how you can make it in a microwave. YOUR MICROWAVE MUST HAVE POWER LEVEL SETTINGS. THIS WILL NOT WORK AT FULL POWER LEVEL!
Pour a can of sweetened condensed milk into a microwave safe bowl. Use a fairly large bowl for this.
Set your microwave to 50% power and microwave for 4 minutes stirring once during this 4 minutes (at 2 min.).
Keep an eye on it. It'll boil up every half minute or so. If your microwave power is to high it could boil over so keep watching it and be ready to kill power.
This is why you must have power setting on your microwave. At full power it'll boil over after only 20 seconds or so. So you must use lower power to prevent boiling over.
Stir then reduce the power level to about 30% and microwave for 8 to 12 minutes. Stir about every 2 to 3 minutes. The thicker it gets the less likely it'll boil over.
When you stir every couple minutes it'll have an airy texture. But when you stir with a whisk it'll become creamy.
Keep repeating 2 or 3 minute heating sessions at about 30% power until it reaches the desired thickness and color.
Chop up some apples, pears or what ever you find that tastes good with caramel. How about chocolate or on ice cream. You'll be surprised how good it tastes.
As you can see. This is a one ingredient recipe and it tastes great with just this one ingredient. But you can also alter its taste to your liking. Try adding butter, brown sugar and/or cinnamon.