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Kaffir Lime Custards

This dreamy custard is supersilky 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.

Slideshow: Easy Desserts

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sweetened whipped cream, quartered lychees, chopped mint and sea salt, for garnish


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream with the sugar and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cream is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk the lime juice into the hot cream. Strain the cream through a fine sieve set over a measuring cup. Stir in the lime zest and salt. Pour the cream into eight 6-ounce glasses and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until chilled and set. Top the custards with whipped cream, garnish with lychees, mint and sea salt and serve right away.

Make Ahead

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


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

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes Published October 2012

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