Summer is here, and OOH BOY it is hot. To celebrate the season (and to make a refreshing dessert), I got it into my head that I needed to make a tart that looks like the cross section of a watermelon AND tasted like watermelon. Sometimes a dessert concept falls into my head fully-formed, but others take a lot longer to percolate. The brainstorm for this tart took a couple of weeks as I slowly identified each component in my head. I decided that the "rind" needed to be multi-layered, multi-colored pate sucree to bridge the gap between a traditional tart and something playful. The filling was a little harder to decide on - there aren't a lot of recipes out there that use watermelon juice to make a filling thick enough to slice. But then I got lucky! The authors of Grand Dishes sent me their new cookbook to work with, and one of the wonderful grandmothers featured in the book had a recipe for a watermelon jasmine jelly. I did some testing and tweaking, and the final tart concept was born!
It's important to note that not only does this tart look cool - it also tastes INCREDIBLE. The fresh watermelon flavor comes through beautifully, and the silky custard is so nice against the flaky/crumbly tart shell. While the chocolate seeds are optional, I highly recommend them since it turns out that dark chocolate tastes delicious with watermelon.