It gives me great pleasure today, to present a guest post by  Biren from Roti n Rice. Biren was one of the first bloggers I befriended and I was from the start, very impressed with her devoted following eventhough she was, in her own words,  not a very experienced blogger. If you've ever been to her blog, you will understand why. Her recipes are as authentic as you could hope to find anywhere, whether from a cookbook, your favourite great aunt or the internet - a place notorious for haphazard recipes. That last fact makes bloggers like Biren, who always give their best and and would not dream of posting anything that they would not happily and heartily enjoy themselves, that much more of a treasure.

I wanted to ask Biren to do me the honour of appearing on my blog at least two months ago, but, she always seemed so busy with her family, blog, numerous social commitments and even beautiful garden that I assumed she would only view it as more work for her! Imagine my surprise when she keenly welcomed my timid request and even came up with something that is very close to my heart. I am deeply touched that she took so much of trouble over this post and I am so pleased with it that I will waste no more time. Please give her a warm welcome and don't hesitate to leave your thoughts, comments or questions if any. I now give you Biren :

Greetings to all Quickies on the Dinner Table readers and followers! It is such an honor to be here today contributing to this outstanding blog. I come here often to read and savor Denise's cooking vicariously. Denise's flair for writing makes her posts so vivid and entertaining. Her creative and exciting recipes using bold and exotic flavors, tantalizes one's taste buds and leaves one craving for the next post. Those of you who visit regularly know Denise's passion for pandan.

Pandan is a tropical plant with long, narrow, blade like, very aromatic leaves. In Denise's own words, this plant "gives off a heavenly scent that is a heady and beguiling mix of vanilla, lemongrass, orange blossom and tea rose". I could not have put it any better. Pandan definitely has an exquisite scent and is frequently used in Southeast Asian cuisine. With that in mind, I have come up with a recipe that  is a marriage of this wonderful Southeast Asian ingredient and  a classic American dessert. I bring you the Pandan Cream Pie.

I used a basic key lime pie recipe with a graham cracker crust but changed the filling to include coconut milk and half cup of pandan juice. I decided to fill the pie only half way and then top it with fresh whipped cream. When sliced, the pie resembles the classic Nyonya dessert known as Kuih Talam which has a coconut custard layer on the top and a pandan custard layer at the bottom. Extracting the pandan juice requires a little patience but it is definitely worth the effort. The fragrance is out of this world. The pie? It was rich, yet light, and a sheer delight! You can't stop at just one slice.

Fortunately for us here in the Twin Cities, pandan can be found in the Asian grocery stores in the frozen section. They are mainly imported from Thailand. Pandan leaves are very fibrous and stores well in the freezer. Use them as you would fresh pandan leaves. As soon as it thaws, It releases its amazing fragrance.

Pandan Cream Pie

Pandan Juice

8 to 10 pandan leaves
½ cup water

Wash and trim the whitish ends off the pandan leaves.
Cut the leaves with kitchen scissors cross wise into thin strips.
Put into blender with ½ cup water and blend well.
Pandan leaves are very fibrous and you will have to blend for a while to get a nice green color in the water.
Remove and strain. Squeeze pulp to extract all the juice. You should get ½ cup pandan juice.

Graham Cracker Crust

1¼ cups finely crushed graham crackers
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Stir together crushed graham crackers, sugar and butter until well combined.
Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and sides of 8 inch pie plate to form a thin crust.
Bake in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes. In the mean time, work on the custard.
When crust is ready, remove and cool on a rack. Leave oven on.

Pandan Custard

3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp rice flour
¾ cup condensed milk
¾ cup coconut milk
½ cup pandan juice
3 drops green food coloring

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks lightly. Set aside.  Heat butter in a pan and cook flour.
Pour in condensed milk, coconut milk, and pandan juice stirring over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
Remove from heat. Stir in egg yolks until well combined. Pour warm filling into baked pie crust.
It should fill up to about halfway the depth of pie crust. Bake in a 350˚F oven for 15 minutes.
Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours in the fridge.


1 pint (cup) heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar

Chill bowl and whisk attachment in the fridge for two hours.
Pour cold cream and sugar into chilled bowl. Beat until it holds stiff peaks.
Spread whipped cream over filling.
Slice and serve immediately.

Note: If you have any leftovers, cover with foil and leave in the fridge. It is able to keep for a day.

It was a pleasure sharing this recipe with you. I hope you will give it a try.

Thank you Biren for sharing with us your inspired and inspiring recipe. I would have loved to have been there when you made it and I'm sure your family enjoyed this beautifully fragrant and delicious pie tremendously! The tip given for storing and keeping leftovers is very helpful but I think it would be redundant if you're talking about my home and family as I can assure you there would be absolutely no leftovers if I made this gorgeous pie!