I recently hosted a dinner party at my house for friends and family. Starting with Blueberry Ice Cream, over the next two weeks, I will be sharing several drinks and dishes that I served at the party. While I can’t say that cooking a 5 course meal for 14 people is an easy task, I can say that everything went smoothly and my guests had a really enjoyable time. Continue reading for the recipe and some pointers on how to throw a successful dinner party.
One of the main ingredients for a well executed dinner party is planning. Start by creating a menu several weeks in advance. I always try to pick dishes that are connected in a way (a specific ingredient, theme, region, season, etc.). Then write up a master shopping list that includes all ingredients needed for your dishes. Finally, create a timeline that outlines all of your required tasks. These three items will provide you with a solid foundation on the “operational” side of your party. Check back for more party planning tips throughout the next few weeks.
Blueberry Ice Cream
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman.
4 cups fresh blueberries
¼ cup plus 1 cup sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ cups half and half
5 large egg yolks
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Place blueberries, ¼ cup sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries release their juices and begin to cook down (about 20 minutes). You can help this process along a bit by gently mashing the berries each time you stir. Drain using a fine mesh basket strainer, pressing berries to squeeze out as much juice as possible. Set aside.
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and have another strainer ready. Add heavy cream to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Heat half and half and 1 cup sugar in a different saucepan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat once you see steam rising from the surface and the mixture is completely heated through.
Meanwhile, whisk 5 egg yolks in a bowl until slightly thickened. Slowly, while whisking, add ½ cup of the warm half and half mixture to the yolks. Once the ½ cup is incorporated, whisk in the remaining half and half mixture. Return the half and half-yolk mixture to the saucepan, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You will know the custard is thick enough when you see steam rise from the surface and the custard coats the spoon. Strain the custard into the bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Add the blueberry mixture to the custard mixture and stir. Place the bowl in the ice bath and stir occasionally to cool (be sure not to get any water in your custard mixture).
Refrigerate until cold.
Freeze custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Makes 1 quart.