If you want to start your foray into making traditional Indonesian desserts, it is safe to say that you won’t go far before the recipes start calling for pandan leaves. Some would just use the leaves for their taste (we love the taste of pandan in everything, as ubiquitous as vanilla in western desserts :D), some would specify using pandan extract for both the taste and the color. Nowadays pandan extract can be bought from almost every grocery store, baking supply, and even traditional market, so why should you bother make your own extract? I’ll tell you why. Because the real deal is a million times better than even the most expensive artificial pandan extract your money can buy, so if you have access to fresh (or even frozen) pandan leaves, try making your own extract. It is super easy, and your desserts are gonna taste and look super awesome. ♥
Start making your pandan extract by acquiring some really fresh pandan leaves and carefully clean them under running water to remove dirt and sometimes even mud. Try to choose the ones with brightest green color with as little blemish as possible. If you grow your own pandan like my Mom, this will not be a problem at all. 🙂
Then, with a pair of scissors, cut the leaves into thin strips. I use 18 leaves, but this is actually more of a rough guide to loosely fill my 6 cups blender with the pandan leave strips. If your blender has the same capacity as mine, you are probably gonna use about 15 to 20 leaves, the exact amount will depend on the size of the leaves.
Then, add 1/2 a cup of drinking water to your blender and process until the leaves are all pulverize. Strain with a strainer (or a cheese cloth) to get the bright deep green extract. You can start using the pandan extract for your desserts, and the extra can be stored in a glass jar and will be fine for up to 1 week. Don’t throw away the pulverized leaves since this is still useful to lend the pandan taste to your dishes 🙂
- 18 fresh (or frozen) pandan leaves
- ½ cup water
- Carefully wash the leaves to remove dirt.
- Use a pair of scissors to cut the leaves into strips.
- Loosely fill a 6 cup capacity blender with the leaves.
- Add ½ cup of water to the blender and process until the leaves are completely pulverized.
- Use a strainer (or cheese cloth) to strain the pandan extract. Transfer the extract into a clean glass jar. Store in refrigerator and use within 1 week.