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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pumpkin Jam 南瓜果酱

This is supposed to be pumpkin kaya. But Mike insisted it be called pumpkin jam. To him, kaya must have eggs, and when it’s eggless, it’s jam.

It smelt great when it was ready, the whole house smelt of kaya! But the aroma was somehow lost after being chilled in the fridge.
B4 it was chilled, it smelt coconutty, after chilled, pumpkiny. Still it was ok.
A bit more healthy than the eggy kaya.

Recipes online says just cook in a pan over flame, but with my experience in kaya making (I come from a family that’s been making kaya commercially for more half a century), short cooking time makes it more perishable. (I’ve bought homemade kaya that turned bad after a week even when it was in the fridge!! That’s pan cooked, guaranteed!) Kaya is supposed to be double boiled over a long period of time, so that the sugar will not crystallize and the coconut milk in it won’t spoil for days. The kaya my mom used to make can be kept for more than a week w/o refrigeration and it’s not even kept in sterilized jars. If refrigerated, try keeping it a year!

So, why didn’t I double boil it? Well, the slow cooker is like a double boiler, but keep it on low heat.
High heat during the first hour won’t spoil it, cos it’s really snail slow to heat things up in a slow cooker.

If u don’t have a slow cooker and want to double boil it, do it for 3 hours.
If u plan to finish the jam in a day or 2, by all means, cook it direct over flame. I can’t finish it that fast, so better cook it slowly…

1kg pumpkin flesh
100gm sugar (U can put more)
100gm palm sugar
350ml thick coconut milk
3 blades pandan leaves, knotted

1. Steam pumpkin flesh until soft. Puree with a blender or mash it up.
2. Mix pumpkin flesh with coconut milk, and both sugars.
3. Place mixture into a slow cooker together with pandan knot.
4. Cook on high for an hour, low for 2 hours.

It's almost a month since I made this, and the jam is still in good condition, sitting in my fridge. I purposely posted this late, to see how long the jam can last in the fridge.
Last week, I made buns with this pumpkin jam, and they tasted good!

Update 1 : The jam spoiled at 6 weeks. Well, can't be compared to my mom's original kaya, cos there's so much less sugar. But nonetheless, it didn't spoil within 1 week.. kekeke

Update 2 : My friend gave me feedback that her jam was still good for 7 weeks.


  1. Hi Wendy,
    my mom-in-law likes the pumpkin jam so much. Thanks to ur recipe.


  2. You're welcomed!
    Glad she liked it

  3. wow! i like the sound of your mum's kaya - did your family sell the kaya under its own brand or in a coffeeshop? I would love to try making kaya, and your family one sounds like a solid, good old-fashioned one. Any chance of posting the recipe or instructions? thanks!

  4. Anonymous,
    Hahah, our kaya didn't come with a brand. It's just a coffeeshop. My mom has planned to document the process, but since we've sold the business and she's retired, she rarely makes it now, unless there is a reason to. But the next time she does it, the original way, I'll be there to document it.

  5. Hi Wendy, i did this yesterday using slow cooker that only has a on-off switch button (no high or low heat). So i cooked it for 4 hours. But It still doesnt thicken as your pumpkin kaya (what could possibly goes wrong here? Im using boxed coconut milk). Secondly, it is not as smooth as ur pictured kaya, mine has some dots on top. I wish to perfect this recipe. Appreciate ur help! Thankss!

  6. Anonymous,
    Dots? Like how? I don't understand dots.
    If you stay overseas, your pumpkin could be more watery than what we have here. I have always recieved feedback from oversea readers whenever they try my recipes with pumpkin, it always feels liquidy. Local readers have no such problems. If you have access to butternut squash, maybe you can try substituting with that, as I heard it is drier than pumpkin overseas.

  7. Hi Wendy,
    How did you make your color of the 'jam' brown like real kaya? I saw one in another blog but the color is more towards yellow like pumpkin color. Did you use both caster sugar and palm sugar (gula melaka)? The palm sugar that you used is it come in one block and need to be chopped?

  8. Jaynelle,
    If one adds gula melaka, how can it not turn brown??? Everything turns brown with gula melaka. I don't think the other blog used gula melaka.
    I used whatever that is stated in the recipe, because it is MY recipe. I write it as to how I made it.
    You don't need to chop it as it will melt over time during the long hours cooking

  9. I'm cooking the kaya now...My whole house smells so good. The 1st hr of cooking is over...and I've checked's still quite liquidy. Will they become thicker at the end of cooking?


  10. Jaynelle,
    Of course it will. As it cooks, the water evaporates and it will thicken.

  11. Wendy,
    Just to let you know that the pumpkin jam turned out really good...:)Thanks for your recipe and guidance!


  12. Hi Wendy, I want to try the pumpkin jam. For cooking time, do you mean

    a) High 1 hour OR low 2 hours; or
    b) High for 1 hour and then Low for 2 hours?

    Looking forward to cooking. Thanks!

  13. Hi Wendy. Really loved ur recipe n am planning to make small jars to my friends as Christmas gifts. If I want to make 2-3 recipes at one go, I'll follow the ingredients proportionately but is cooking time still the same? Thanks :)

  14. Vivian,
    Actually this jam can be done in just 15 minutes, but it will spoil easily.
    For extra portions, the same time could be applied, just to make the jam last long.

  15. Hi Wendy. The batch of pumpkin im making today is very watery, its still on its 1st hour high on slow cooker..can i add corn starch? It may become clumpy after refrigerated if i add corn starch i guess? Hmm..


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