I’ve been messing with ice cream recipes for kaffir lime ice cream for years now. The leaves of the kaffir lime tree are wonderfully versatile and fragrant. I love to add them to soups, finely slice them for salads or tea, and now I’ve got a recipe I’m really happy with for ice cream too! As a note, I do grow my own kaffir lime tree(s) so I harvest my leaves fresh from the tree. It’s harder to find them in grocery stores and using older leaves may require a longer simmer time to transfer the flavor to the milk.
12 – 14 fresh kaffir lime leaves, washed
6 to 7 ounces (180 mL) evaporated milk, just over 1 cup
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 cup (120 mL) sugar
1/8 teaspoon (.625 mL) salt
1/2 cup (120 mL) heavy cream
Roughly chop kaffir lime leaves.
Notes: No need to be pretty. This is just to maximize flavor transfer and will be strained out of the mixture. Also, try to chop right before you go to the next step so the leaves are very fresh.
Pour the evaporated milk into a small pot and add fresh chopped kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a simmer. Be careful not to boil it or scald the milk by making the heat too high. Patience here.
Meanwhile, separate the egg yolks and place into a mixer. Add vanilla extract, sugar, and regular salt. Whisk on medium to high until the mixture falls off the whisk in thick ribbons.
Using a strainer to separate out (and discard) the kaffir lime leaves, incorporate the simmered milk into the egg mixture by mixing and pouring in slowly. Once combined, pour entire mixture back into the small pot and place on stove at a medium heat.
Whisk continuously until the mixture begins to thicken and take on a custard like texture. Be very careful not to boil or overheat the pot otherwise your eggs will begin to scramble.
Once finished, place the mixture into the freezer until it reaches room temperature (30-45 minutes)
Using an ice cream maker, add the room temperature custard to the freezing bowl and start the paddles turning. Slowly add heavy cream and allow the mixture to mix and freeze to soft serve ice cream. Store in freezer overnight for a more solid set.
Serving suggestions: goes really well with Girl Scout Cookies.