Kaya (Pandan Jam)

1 Cup
40 min

My first taste of jam as a child was not strawberry or any other fruit jam. It was kaya. My parents bought it in a tin and it was orange, fragrant and eggy. I loved it! It was a sweet spread on toast so what’s not to love. I was a child after all. As an adult, I still love kaya and prefer it over jam. I’ve learned that there are actually two varieties, one that is green which is purely full of pandan flavor and another that is more brown in color which has the essence of pandan. Both varieties are delicious but I can’t help but to love the full flavor of pandan. Luckily for you, I have a quick kaya jam recipe which works in a cinch rather than it taking hours of stovetop stirring.

Many like to eat the kaya with butter
Recipe details
  • 1  Cup
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 40 min
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Pandan Extract
  • 30-40 grams fresh pandan leaves
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup water, as needed
Pandan Kaya
  • 200 ml coconut cream (half a can)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2-4 tsp pandan extract
  • 80 grams granulated sugar
  • 20 grams palm sugar, coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
Pandan Extract
To make the best pandan extract, you will need fresh pandan leaves. Wash them well in water to remove any grit and dirt. Cut or snip the pandan leaves into 1/2” pieces. Add them to a blender.
Add 1/2 cup water and blend on high. If necessary, add up to another 1/4 cup of water, totaling 3/4 cup. You only want to add more water if necessary to blend the pandan leaves into a somewhat smooth mixture. Scrape down the blender as necessary to ensure all the leaves are blended.
When done, pour everything into a resealable jar and store in the refrigerator. This mixture will last about a week in the fridge before it starts to go bad. You must leave the jar undisturbed until the mixture separates. You will see a very green thin layer on the bottom of the jar and a clear light green liquid on top of that. The dark green portion at the bottom of the jar is your extract. We will use that to make the pandan kaya.
Pandan Kaya
When you are ready to make the jam, carefully remove the jar of extract from the fridge as to not mix up the two layers. Pour out the top clear green layer and discard. You only need the dark green extract for this recipe.
In a medium sized saucepan, add in the coconut cream, pandan extract, salt and sugars. Turn the heat to medium and stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Do not let the mixture boil otherwise the coconut cream may curdle. Once dissolved, remove saucepan from the stove and turn off the heat.
In a medium sized bowl, add in your egg yolks and spoon in a little bit of the coconut cream mixture at a time while whisking. Continue to whisk as you add in the hot coconut mixture so that the eggs temper slowly and do not curdle.
Once you have combined everything, pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium low heat until the mixture thickens. It will take about 8-10 minutes. The mixture will coat the back of a spoon when it has thicken enough.
Immediately remove this from the heat and pour into a resealable glass jar. Allow it to cool down at room temperature, seal with a lid and store in the refrigerator. Once the kaya has cooled completely in the fridge, it will have thickened up to a very thick almost stiff jam.
From here, you can just spread it on toast and eat it just like any other jam. Many like to also have it with a slice of cold butter sandwiched in the middle. I know, it sounds odd but it’s totally delicious and decadent.
  • You should have enough pandan extract to make two batches of kaya. I highly suggest that you make both batches as you won’t be able to stop eating this.