Kaffir Lime Custards

Kaffir Lime Custards

Will Budiaman


  • 3 1/2 Cups  heavy cream
  • 1 Cup  sugar
  • kaffir lime leaves*
  • 1/2 Cup  plus 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Teaspoons  finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 Teaspoon  salt
  •   Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  •   Lychees, quartered, for garnish
  •   Mint, chopped, for garnish
  •   Sea salt, for garnish

This dreamy custard is super silky and astonishingly simple to make. The secret: It firms up in a couple of hours with lime juice instead of the usual eggs or gelatin.

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In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cream with the sugar and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

Whisk the lime juice into the hot cream. Set a fine-meshed sieve over a measuring cup and strain the cream. Stir in the lime zest and salt. Pour the cream into eight 6-ounce glasses and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 2 hours. Garnish the custards with whipped cream, lychees, mint, and sea salt and serve right away.


Note: The custards can be refrigerated overnight. Garnish just before serving.

*Note: Kaffir lime leaves, popular in Indonesian, Thai, and other Southeast Asian cuisines, are available at specialty food stores and online.

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