Saturday, October 17, 2009
Pandan... oh how wonderful thy flavour
Oh how wonderful the fragrance.....
We never cook our sweet soups w/o it, never boil our sugar syrups w/o it.
Life is just bland w/o it.
Pandan or Screwpine is a common colouring and flavouring plant used in South East Asia (I'm not sure abt other parts of the world). It's one of the most common "herb" that u can find in our gardens or pots.
During the olden days, before the birth of blenders or liquidizers, these leaves are pounded with the mortar and pestle to obtain the precious green extract.
Now, what the heck for all the trouble and arm work???? Just use the blender!
But before that, u have to snip the leaves as thin as u can with scissors, no knifes, can't do the work like scissors do. Why snip it? Why can't I just break them up and throw them in. Yeah, u'll work ur blender blades til they drop. Pandan is very fibrous, the long fibres are no easy task to break up, even with a micro cutter blender that I have. Wash it before u snip it, no need to dry it. Discard the torny tip and white bases. The torny tip will itch ur hands when u squeeze the juices and the white base is slightly bitter. Use mature leaves(but not old leaves) , not shoots as the shoots can be slightly bitter and contain less pigment. But do not discard the shoots, u can still use them to boil sweet soups, it doesn't taste bitter this way.
In the pic I used 1 cup of snipped pandan leaves, abt 25gms.
Then u put them into a blender with 1 cup of water, and whizz away. Put the cap on!!!!!
Pour blitzed pandan over a fine strainer, and SQUEEEEEEEZZZZZZEEE!!
Repeat the blending process and squeeze again!
Do this until u can no longer obtain a beautiful green colour.
See the difference in colour??
Let me tell u the uses...
1st round : Good for cakes and anything that needs really concentrated juice. If making chiffon cakes.. this is it!
2nd round: Good for seri muka, jelly or pau/mantou, where the pandan extract is mixed with other liquids for use. Ondeh-ondeh/buah melaka will be ok using this one too.
3rd round: Good for cendol, kuih talam where a lot of water can be used.
To make it really concentrated, like for my pandan butter cake, leave the juices(all if u want) in the fridge for a few days. They won't go bad. And the chlorophyll will sink...................... to the bottom. Seeeeee!!
Pour away the upper layer of water, leaving behind moss like powder... U have it, concentrated pandan extract.
Well the glass of pandan juice in this pic was left in the fridge for almost 5 days... it took so long this time. usually by 3 days it'll sink. So better do this in advance so that u'll have really green pandan.
The upper layer need not be thrown away, as there is fragrance there, just mix it with other rounds of extracts to make stuff that require more dilute pandan juice.
Keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Discard when it smells like rotten leaves.
Do not freeze it. I've tried it, the fragrance is lost and the chlorophyll gets separated from the water.
Updated: 17/12/09 : This time I got the concentrated layer in just 18 hours. I used the sunken part to make Oiless Pandan Chiffon and whatever balance for Pandan Mantous.