The short-cut version: Add water or milk and the pandan leaves in a pot and simmer until the leaves soften. Add the leaves and the simmered liquid in a blender, and blend.
Pour the mixture in a pot and simmer until it reduces, strain, and squeeze to make a condensed extract (or you could simply use the simmered liquid).
Combine the coconut jam, the pandan leaves extract, and egg yolks, stir the mixture well, and simmer for a while over low heat, stirring occasionally. It looks just like kaya jam.
Note: When adding the egg yolks, you might want to strain them once to loosen them up and remove any stringy bits.
The authentic version: Whisk the coconut milk, egg yolks, and sugar with a handheld electric mixer, and pour the mixture through a strainer.
Add plenty of pandan leaves to the mixture, pour it into a pot and turn on the heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat down to very low, simmer for a while, and continue stirring with a spatula to prevent it from forming any lumps.
If you continue simmering over high heat, the yolks will harden and it will lose its creamy texture. So, simmer over low heat and gradually heat the mixture. This will take several minutes, but hang in there and continue stirring while simmering.
Remove the pandan leaves after simmering. Most kaya jam recipes call for whole eggs, but it's easy to mess up. The jam becomes crumbly, turning out looking a whole lot different than the one's sold at stores.
In my opinion, store-bought kaya jam uses only egg yolks (I even once checked the ingredients list, and powdered egg yolks was listed).
I also find store-bought kaya jam to be too sweet, so I reduced the sweetness significantly to create this elegant jam. You can make a big batch of this jam and store it in the freezer.
Sterilize the jar before pouring the jam in. The most popular way to enjoy this jam is to spread it on toast and top it with a tad of salted butter.
If you make kaya jam with just coconut milk, sugar, and pandan leaves, the jam will turn into a nice green color, and it will be aromatic, flavorful, and delicious!!
Frozen pandan leaves are sold at Asian specialty stores. I purchased dried pandan leaves online.
I found this store-bought kaya jam to be delicious, so it's the taste I tried recreating. The taste of the kaya jam differs depending on the manufacturer.
This jam was good too. All the others weren't quite as good, and none of them suited my palate...
Kaya jam is also called Sri Kaya jam.