Making your own kaya (ie coconut jam)

My mom laments yet again at how expensive it is to buy a bottle of kaya from Killiney Kopitiam. Kaya is a jam made of coconut, eggs and sugar. Don’t look down on this simple concoction, for it is wonderful with toast. It is synonymous to local breakfast jam here in Singapore. Good kaya is hard to come by. The supermarket versions we tried are usually too sweet and lack the fragrant coconut flavor. The ones from Ya Kun and Killiney fared better, but comes in tiny bottles and more than twice the price. After doing some research online, I decided to try making my own kaya. I eventually settled on the recipe from The Little Teochew. Sadly, I mistook the crockpot in the instructions for an earthen pot, and burnt my mom’s best pot. Needless to say, she wasn’t very happy. Thank god I halved the recipe and only wasted 5 eggs.

Second round, I painstakingly squeezed out fresh coconut juice, mixing it with the thick packet ones and poured it into my slow cooker (ie crock pot). 15 eggs and 3 hours later, I have delicious kaya bubbling. The whole kitchen smelt heavenly. The original instructions called for stirring the mixture just once after it starts to bubble. I was impatient and checked on it several times. I stirred several times, to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Don’t be too alarmed when you see the finished product, which is likely to look like a curdled, lumpy and watery mess. I sieved my kaya twice, to get a smooth consistency. May consider beating it with a stand mixer to save my time. Manual sieving is hard work!!

Homemade Kaya
(Adapted from The Little Teochew)

400ml thick coconut cream (I used Kara brand)
200 ml freshly squeezed coconut cream
10 eggs, lightly beaten
450g white caster sugar
12 pandan leaves, washed and tied into a knot

1. Mix coconut cream, sugar and eggs well. Try and dissolve as much of the sugar as possible, otherwise it will sink to the bottom and turn brown during cooking. Pour everything into a slow cooker. Add in the pandan leaves. Set it to high and stir once when it starts to heat up.

2. After half an hour, stir again. When the mixture starts to simmer and bubble, turn the heat down to low and let it cook with the lid on.

3. After 2 to 2.5 hours, you will get lumpy looking custard. Remove the pandan leaves.

4. Double sieve the kaya into a pot. Make sure you sterilise all your utensils beforehand.

5. Store the kaya in a sterilised bottle, but allow it to cool before putting on the cap and refrigerating.


One thought on “Making your own kaya (ie coconut jam)

  1. For aseptic (sterile) canning, you should put on the sterile cap immediately after you fill the jar with boiling kaya. This will allow a vaccum to be built as cooling takes place. You’ll hear the ‘pop’ sound if done correctly. The kaya can be kept at room temperature until ready to use.

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