Here's a fun fact for you: Ice cream makes everything better.
That's frozen treat guru Jeni Britton Bauer's philosophy! When we asked the author of Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream Desserts ($16; amazon.com) to put a new spin on classic desserts for our July issue, tarting up a fruit tart was at the top of her list.
The chef claims to have made "millions of tarts" in her previous gig at a French bakery in Ohio and was eager to give the sweet standby a summer makeover by swapping the standard custard filling for ice cream.
The results? A still-dainty, beautiful tart, but now filled with an icy cool surprise. In other words: the perfect summer dessert.
Want more ice cream recipes to beat the heat? Pick up the July issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.
Total time: 3 hours
Prep/cooking time: 30 minutes
Inactive time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Makes: 12 tarts
Ingredients:1 disk sugar dough1 quart vanilla ice cream3 pints fresh fruit of your choice, diced and chilled½ cup apricot jamWhipped cream (optional)
For sugar dough:1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour⅓ cup sugar8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½" cubes and chilled2 oz. (4 tbsp) cream cheese2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten2 tbsp very cold heavy cream
For sugar dough:1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until dough forms.2. Remove from food-processor bowl, divide in half, and knead each half to soften.3. Flatten halves into disks; wrap each individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
For tarts:1. Preheat oven to 350°F.2. Sprinkle some flour on the work surface to prevent sticking.3. Remove 1 disk of sugar dough from refrigerator and roll out to ¹/₈" thick.4. Cut into circles with a 5" round cookie cutter. Ease each piece of dough into a 4" tart pan, gently pressing the dough up against the sides. Weigh down each shell by lining the inside with parchment paper and filling it with dried beans or rice.5. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove beans and bake for 10 more minutes, or until golden. Remove tart shells from tins after they’re completely cool, and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
To assemble:1. Remove shells from freezer, fill each one halfway with softened ice cream, and return them to freezer for at least 1 hour.2. Toss chilled fruit with apricot jam to coat.3. Remove shells from freezer, and top with random mounds or arrange patterns of glazed fruit and whipped cream (if desired). Serve immediately.