Instead of going all out with rye and bitters (a combo that would surely overpower these one bite tarts), Jones has opted to take the delicate route, filling these buttery little cups with a custard with just a few spoon anise liqueur and a sprinkling of anise seeds adding the same sort of delicate licorice flavor that you get by washing your Sazerac glass in Herbsaint.
Reprinted with permission from Sweet Auburn Desserts by Sonya Jones. Copyright © 2011. Published by Pelican Publishing Company. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:2 dozen mini-tarts
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons anise liqueur
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Tart Shells:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 ounces powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 2 tablespoons anise seeds
To make the filling, combine the sugar, flour, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the beaten eggs, anise liqueur, and honey, and mix well.
To make the tart shells, combine the flour, powdered sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Use your hands to form a ball. Press the dough flat (but do not roll out) and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the dough has chilled, divide the dough into 24 balls and press each dough ball into a tart shell, or into the cups of mini muffin pans. Divide the anise seeds among the tart shells and spoon about 1 tablespoon of filling into each shell.
Bake the tassies for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool before you unmold the tassies from the tart pan.
Dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.