Wholefood Malaysian Kaya Custard - Paleo, Gluten, Dairy, Refined Sugar Free
After travelling to Malaysia a few years ago, there were a few foodie things I fell in love with: Pineapple jam filled cookies at Chinese New Year, char kway teow, Hainanese chicken rice and of course, Kaya, a jam made out of coconut cream/milk, sugar, thickener, and eggs, and flavoured with pandan leaves, otherwise known as screwpine leaves. Clearly not the healthiest dishes, but when on holiday, especially overseas, I am all for trying new things!
Some kaya jams are green due to the leaves being blended into the mix, some are a rich golden colour due to the palm sugar, and others are a more creamy colour. Whatever it looks like, its delicious. So I set out to make a healthier version for you to try at home. It ended up turning out more like custard - so I am not sure what I did wrong here (- any Malaysians able to help me out?). But regardless of its lack of 'jam' consistency, and not so overly sweet punch like the traditional version, it was still delicious, and I put it on everything! Consider this a work in progress.
Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Refined Sugar free. Paleo Friendly.
1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot
400ml coconut cream/milk
6 pandan leaves (you can get these from asian grocery stores - check the freezer)
1/4- 1/3 cup maple syrup (I used 1/4 cup as I like things less sweet, but if you have a major sweet tooth or are trying to recreate it as authentically as possible, then add up to 1/2 cup)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. You'll need to create a double boiler, so have some water in a pan over medium-high heat and set it to simmer whilst you prepare the mix. Make sure the pan is the right fit for the bowl you will use to stir the mix in.
2. Combine the eggs, arrowroot, coconut, maple syrup and vanilla in a blender or by using a hand whisk.
2. Tie the 6 pandan leaves into two separate bunches, creating a knot in each.
3. Pour the mix into a bowl and add the pandan bunches. Place the bowl on top of the simmering water to create the double boiler effect. Don't let the base of the bowl touch the water. It will get very lumpy very quickly. You can fix this in a later step if it happens.
4. Continue to stir the mixture until it thickens nicely and the aroma of the pandan leaves becomes apparent.
5. If the pandan flavour isn't strong enough, add the thickened mixture into a very high powered blender and blend until the leaves begin to break down and the mix gets a slight green tinge. DO NOT use a blender that isn't high powered - you will likely break it!
6. Strain the mix through a sieve and set aside to cool.
7. Place in the fridge in a sealed container to set further. Enjoy on toast, use in cakes, put on pancakes, or eat with fruits. Yum!