“I’ll tell you whose dinner party I want to go to: Lisa Vanderpump,” Zarin tells PEOPLE about the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star. “She knows how to throw a party. I’d probably be scared to have her as a guest because I’d be scared to be judged.”
When she does host her own gatherings, however, the meal always takes center stage.
“It’s all about the food,” she says of the upcoming Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, “and then it’s all about being fat. You were born to eat and then feel guilty about it.”
“It’s really nice to take a place card and write out what the meal is,” she adds. “Romance it. Food tastes better when you describe it.”
And if you’re attending as a guest? “Always bring something,” she says. “I think that family tends to be a little forgetful and lazy. If you don’t know what to bring, bring a bottle of wine.”
Here, Zarin, a spokesperson for Streit’s, shares her recipe for a tart with coconut macaroon crust, ice cream, and macerated berries. It feeds a crowd, so it’s great for indulging the sweet tooth of your holiday guests.
Jill Zarin’s Berry-Coconut Ice Cream Tart
20 oz. store-bought coconut macaroons
4 tbsp. butter or margarine
2-3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 tsp. salt
1 cup blackberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
¼ cup sugar
1. In a food processor, pulse the butter, salt and macaroons until mixture forms a dough-like ball.
2. Press the macaroon dough into an 8 x 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake on 400°F for 10-15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow crust to cool fully.
3. Let ice cream partially defrost and spoon into the tart shell. Place the tart in the freezer.
4. An hour before serving, place the berries in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar. After half an hour, stir the berries. Let the berries macerate for another half hour. Pour the berries and their juice over the ice cream and serve.
—Shay Spence, @chezspence