Mention kaya Jam in Southeast Asia and everyone will tell you how decadent and sinfully delicious it is. A popular breakfast spread on white bread or toast, it is a perfect way to enjoy this coconut custard jam.
This nonya kaya recipe is verbally given to me by my Dad. It was only recently I discovered my Dad was in charge of making kaya for the families at the tender age of 10. The original recipe was 10 eggs : 1 kati sugar : 1 kati coconut milk (1 kati = 600 g). To be honest, I was kind of mortified with the measurements but I’m sure no one gives a damn about diabetes back then.
I played around with the measurements and reduced the quantity to 8 eggs : 200 g sugar : 500 g coconut milk. My taste testers (including Dad) highly approved the taste and texture of this improved formula except it was still a little too sweet on the palate. I further reduced the quantity of the sugar and was rewarded with a silky smooth aromatic kaya that is not cloyingly sweet.
As the cast of making kaya is only that few ingredients, it makes sense to get good quality eggs and coconut milk. It is also imperative to keep stirring the kaya for the first 30 – 45 mins CONSTANTLY, yes constantly so that the jam will be super smooth and lump free.
Once the kaya is starting to thicken, you could stir it occasionally. The total cooking time for this batch of kaya is 1 hr and 15 mins. Depending on the quantity, the cooking time might differ slightly.
Today’s post is dedicated to my dearest sis-in-law who is a huge fan of kaya. Since she is residing in LA, I hope she’ll be able to satisfy her kaya craving by making some of her own with this easy recipe.
8 eggs (approx. 60 g each)
180 g cane sugar
500 ml coconut milk
4 stalks pandan leaves – cut into sections
Makes about 900ml of kaya
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the pandan leaves into a paste. Alternatively, you could pulse them in a food processor.
Add the pandan paste to the coconut milk and mix well.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together until dissolved.
Using a sieve, pass the coconut milk through into the egg mixture.
Use the back of a spoon to press out the excess pandan essence. The mixture should be of smooth consistency.
Fill a wok or large pan with water. Place a cloth or steam rack into the pan.
Transfer the kaya mixture into a large pot and set it onto the rack.
Stirring continuously, cook the kaya mixture over medium low heat for 45 – 60 mins or until it reaches a custardy jam-like consistency.
DO NOT cook over high heat or the mixture will curdle. If that happens, use a handheld mixer or blender and pulse until smooth.
Transfer into sterilized glass jar or containers and cool completely before refrigerating. The kaya could be kept at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to a month.