Watermelon Pudding Tart


The summer is coming to an end and I couldn't be happier, yes, I'm one of those weird people who loves Fall. Most people, including my husband, have less energy, are less motivated to go for walks and exercise, but I'm the total opposite. I enjoy the cooler mornings and watching the leaves changing colors. The only thing that I miss is having summer fruits specially watermelon. 

So I took advantage of the abundance of watermelon and baked this mouth watering watermelon pudding tart from Southern Italian Desserts cookbook by Rosettta Costantino.

I was a bit suspicious about the flavors of watermelon, cinnamon, and chocolate, but I have to say I was so pleased with the results. I follow her recipe exactly as it was in the book, with the exception of using orange zest in the dough rather than lemon zest. 

I normally use pate sucrée  or sweet pastry dough for tarts that have fruit fillings because the dough makes crispy tart shells and can handle the moisture from the fruits. You can also use this tart dough recipe to make delicious fruit tarts filled with pastry cream and fresh fruits or you can add a bit of cocoa powder to the dough and use it to make chocolate tart.

Key points: 

It's best to make the dough a day before and keep in the fridge overnight. Cool and relaxed dough is far more likely to hold its shape when cooking. Relaxed gluten won’t shrink nearly as bad and it's much easier to roll out the dough.

In the book, it was recommended to use springform pans, but I've used just a regular cake pan, and it worked just as well. 

It's important to fill the tart with the watermelon pudding 3/4 of the height of the your baking dish, then add the cut strips. 


Watermelon Pudding Tart

Yields: 9" tart                                                          Bake time: 40 minutes

Ingredients for dough: 

  • 2 cups (264g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, cold & cubed
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest 


  1. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until well combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse until sandy or until the butter is in small crumbs. While the food processor is running add the eggs and orange zest & mix until the dough forms around the blade. 
  2. Remove from the bowl and cover in a plastic wrap, then place in the fridge for 2-3 hours or even overnight. 

Ingredients for watermelon pudding: 

  • 6 cups cubed watermelon 
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar 
  • 2/3 cup(85g) cornstarch 
  • pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. Puree watermelon in a food processor and pass through a strainer, measure into 4 cups
  2. Place in a heavy saucepan & add sugar 
  3. Whisk in the cornstarch and cinnamon until the starch is completely dissolved. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is very thick, about 1 minute or longer  

Mise en place: 

  • Tart dough 
  • Watermelon mixture 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips 
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) 
  2. Butter a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom or a springform pan 
  3. Slightly dust your work surface and divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other one. Roll out the larger piece of dough to 10 1/2" round and place into the tart pan and let the extra dough to hang on the side. 
  4. Roll out the dough to 3/4 inch thickness, use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 3/4 inch strips, making at least 10 strips. 
  5. Pour the watermelon pudding onto the tart shell, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top, then cover with five strips of the dough spacing them evenly in one direction. Lay the other five strips about a 45-degree angle overing the top. 
  6. Trim the dough around the edges to about 1/2 inch above the filling. Fold the excess bottom dough over the strips, pressing the strips and bottom dough together to seal them. 
  7. Bake until it's golden about 40-45 minutes. 
  8. Cool completely in the pan then remove the pan, referigerate until very cold, at least 6 hours. 
  9. To serve, sprinkle the top with the chopped pistachios and dust with powdered sugar & serve cold.  


I definitely recommend this tart for Yalda night, the celebration of the longest night of the year. Hope you enjoy this delicate Italian tart.