Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts & Berry How To

Happy day everyone!  Today is all about Saskatoon berries!

Have you heard of these delicious little berries?  Saskatoon berries are native to the prairie province that I live in, Alberta.  They look a little like a blueberry, but are drier and have a very different flavour (almost almond-y).  Only recently did I realize that not everyone knows about these little gems.  For me, they’re just such a part of our food experience that I take them for granted, because we’ve been enjoying them for as long as I can remember.  I have memories of going for walks as a kid with my family, and picking and munching on these berries as we went along on our walk!  They just grow in the wild aplenty around here this time of year!

Saskatoon berries are delicious and so versatile!  I want to show you a few ways to eat this delicious berry, but don’t fret if you can’t get your hands on any, because you could basically substitute blueberries for any of these recipes!

Saskatoon Berries {A Pretty Life}

Here are some ways that Saskatoon Berries can be enjoyed!

  • Eaten fresh on their own
  • Served over ice cream
  • In Muffins
  • Pies
  • Tarts
  • Pancakes
  • Syrups
  • Jams/Jellies
  • Whipped butters
  • Basically any way that you would eat a blueberry.

Saskatoon-Picking-{A-Pretty-Life}

Last week on a warm and stormy day (you may have seen us on Instagram), the kids and I set off to our local Saskatoon Farm to pick some Saskatoon berries the good old fashioned way!  With a bucket and our hands.  I thought the kids would get bored about 5 minutes into the berry picking, but they didn’t!  They were so excited and got right in there loading up their pockets and hands with berries!  It was SO fun!  And such a good experience for them.  We left with purple lips & hands…  😉

We try to expose our kids to farms & u-picks as often as we can, because we think it’s so important that they understand where their food comes from…farms and not just the grocery store.  I think they have a better appreciation for their veggies & fruit when they know that someone grew it for them.  Not to mention that farm fresh produce tastes ah-mazing!

So we loaded up a 4 L pail with fresh Saskatoon berries!  Yum.  Now it’s time to use them up…4 L of berries is a lot of berries, and I didn’t want to waste even one.  So one afternoon I got busy cleaning them, preparing them for freezing, making pie filling and baking tarts.  I love days like that!

Freezing Saskatoon Berries {A Pretty Life}

First I set aside 4 cups of berries for pie filling, then I washed and got the rest ready for freezing.

Here’s how to prepare Saskatoon berries for freezing (2 methods):

  1. Dry Pack (Picture on the Left):  Freezing Saskatoons in a dry pack gives you berries that don’t freeze into a clump.  Freezing them with this method makes them easy to access and use when adding to add to muffin or pancake recipes.  How To:  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, then spread out the berries in one layer.  Place the cookie sheet into your freezer overnight.  Once the berries are frozen solid, transfer them to a ziplock bag, and place them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
  2. Sugar Pack (Picture on the Right):  This method just consists of mixing berries and sugar, then freezing them.  The added sugar in the mixture draws out the juices from the Saskatoons, creating more moist berries.  The berries will actually keep better with this method, as they retain more moisture than a dry pack.  You can use the berries from this method in any recipe that you like (especially pie filling).  You just have to keep in mind how much sugar you’ve already added.  Also, note that the berries freeze more into a clump with this method because of the sugar.  How To:  Mix 4 cups Saskatoon berries with 1/2 cup granulated sugar, then place the berries into a ziplock bag and freeze.

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Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling {A Pretty Life}

Here’s how to make Saskatoon berry pie filling:

My most favourite way to enjoy Saskatoon berries is in pie!  This pie filling recipe is my mom’s recipe, and we’ve been enjoying it for years!  For the purpose of this post, I’m going to be using the filling to make Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts.  But if you just want to make a pie, my mom’s recipe/tutorial is so great!

Saskatoon-Berry-Tarts-{A-Pretty-Life}

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Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling:

  • 4 cups Saskatoon berries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch

Butter Tart Filling:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 1 cup raisins seedless

Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening lard
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Making the Saskatoon Berry Filling:

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the berries and water and simmer for 10 minutes over low-medium heat.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.
  3. Then add the sugar/flour mix to the berries and combine.
  4. Simmer until the mixture slightly thickens.
  5. Set aside to cool.

Making the Butter Tart Filling:

  1. First beat together the eggs.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter.
  3. Then add the sugar, vanilla, cream, raisins and beaten eggs to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, and boil for 3 minutes.
  4. Set aside.

Making the Pie Crust:

  1. Sift flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. With a pie cutter, cut in shortening until the particles are pea sized.
  3. Sprinkle in water, 1 tsp or so at a time, mixing lightly with a fork. Don't over mix or the crust will be tough.

  4. Press into a ball. It is okay if it is crumbly. In fact crumbly makes for a tender, flaky crust!

Putting the Tarts together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Split the pie dough into 2 balls, then using a rolling pin, roll out each ball, doing one at a time (it's just easier to handle the dough this way).
  3. Using a 3 inch circle (like a drinking glass, or cookie cutter), cut out your tart shells.
  4. Place the tart shells into a muffin tin.
  5. Add a heaping tablespoon of the butter tart mixture into the shell, then add a tablespoon of the Saskatoon pie filling on top of the butter tart filling. Do NOT mix.
  6. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, or until the crust is slightly browned.

Recipe Notes

I also freeze this pie filling. It freezes very well. You will only use a small portion of the Saskatoon pie filling in this Butter Tart recipe, so use the rest to make more Saskatoon tarts or a pie!

The Butter Tart Recipe portion is from the Best of Bridge

Saskatoon-Berry-Tarts-2-{A-Pretty-Life}

There are so many delicious ways to enjoy Saskatoon berries!  Now that I’ve got a stash of them in the freezer I’m going to use them in a few other recipes this winter!  There’s just nothing like having fresh fruit & veggies at your fingertips all year round!  I hope you enjoyed this post and got to know Saskatoon berries a little better!  Now I’m off to enjoy another tart…because I can.  😉

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

If you’re looking for more Saskatoon Berry recipes, this Saskatoon Galette is one of our favourites!

Saskatoon Berry Galette {A Pretty Life}

Have a delicious day!
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32 Comments

  • Reply Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] August 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM YUM! Thanks for sharing, lots of Saskatoons around here!
    • Reply Jo-Anna August 27, 2013 at 2:08 PM Oh SO lucky! Get out there an pick! :)
  • Reply Sheryl @ Flowery Prose August 27, 2013 at 9:38 PM Those tarts look supremely delicious! I just so happen to have a whole bunch of saskatoons in the freezer (that I got from the Saskatoon Farm a couple of weeks ago, along with some sour cherries)...looking so forward to trying this recipe, especially if it's better than the one at the farm! :) Delightful!
    • Reply Jo-Anna August 31, 2013 at 8:53 PM Thank you Sheryl! I hope you enjoy these tarts if you decide to make them! We really did! And don't you just love the Saskatoon Farm?! It's such a great place to visit!
  • Reply Ricki @ The Questionable Homesteader August 28, 2013 at 3:37 AM Oh these Tarts look good. We had a bush growing up but we never really got a chance to eat them as our dog at the time loved them and was really fast at picking that bush clean. My Blueberry bush is currently producing tones so I might end up using your recipe for the blueberries. Thanks for sharing.
    • Reply Jo-Anna August 31, 2013 at 8:52 PM Thank you Ricki! Too funny that your dog loved them, lol!! Let me know how they taste if you try making these tarts with blueberries! I bet they'll be great!
  • Reply Pretend Chef August 28, 2013 at 7:29 AM The tart looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
  • Reply Ali August 28, 2013 at 10:48 AM I've never heard of those berries, but they sure look and sound yummy :) Pretty too!
  • Reply Raj @Pink Chai Style September 1, 2013 at 6:14 PM These berries look so yummy! I'm ashamed to say I've never tried a Saskatoon Berry but it's on my must try list now:)
  • Reply Oh yeah, I had a bake sale. {Basil Lime Shortbread Cookies Recipe & Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale Roundup} - Ceci n'est pas un food blog October 21, 2013 at 7:43 AM […] of A Pretty Life in the Suburbs made Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts - a very Canadian […]
  • Reply Wendy July 26, 2014 at 7:01 PM Hi - just wondering with your pie filling recipe if the ingredient is starch or flour because it uses starch in the ingredients but flour in the instructions. Thanks!
    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife July 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM Hi Wendy! You can really use either or, but I do prefer the starch! I'll update the recipe...thank you for letting me know! Happy baking!
  • Reply Farrah August 6, 2014 at 3:03 PM Hey - my husband and kids just visited the Saskatoon Farm and loved it - I haven't had saskatoons since growing up in Manitoba! I used your recipe for the tarts and for the pie - can already tell that my new-to-Alberta kids are going to be expecting this yearly. Combining berries with butter tarts is genius. What could possibly go wrong with butter tarts?? Thanks for the recipes!
    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife August 10, 2014 at 11:51 AM You are so welcome! These tarts are one of our faves, as is the Saskatoon Farm! Isn't it so great! I hope you enjoy Alberta!
  • Reply Maxine August 2, 2015 at 12:18 PM I am wondering if the /4 cup water is right for simmering with saskatoons , think it should be at least a cup for the amount of cornstarch being used
  • Reply Anna August 9, 2015 at 7:52 AM Made these this week! I love the buttery layer underneath the freshness of the saskatoons!
  • Reply janice baron August 30, 2015 at 8:33 AM I was just wondering about the pie crust. It says sift flour, salt, sugar. How much sugar do you use?
    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife September 1, 2015 at 6:53 PM Hi Janice! I made a mistake with putting the 'sugar' in the ingredient list. This particular crust recipe doesn't call for sugar. Sorry about that! Happy baking!
  • Reply janice baron August 30, 2015 at 8:34 AM How much sugar do you use in the pie crust?
  • Reply Annette November 13, 2015 at 10:34 PM I wonder if you can help me when I make saskatoon pies I find the filling is like rubber. Should I make the filling on the stove first.
    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife November 16, 2015 at 9:01 AM Hi Annette! I know exactly what you mean, sometimes the filling can be quite thick. I always cook my filling on the stove, and if it looks too thick I just add a little water until it's the consistency I like. Happy Baking!
  • Reply Cheryl August 2, 2016 at 9:25 AM Hi Jo-Anna, I'm going to try your recipe and wonder if it's necessary to add the raisins? I just love Saskatoons so much and don't want the tart to be shared with anything else! Thanks
    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife August 2, 2016 at 4:02 PM Hi Cheryl! I think if you were to make them without the raisins they would turn out just perfect! Only add the Saskatoon pie filling and skip the butter tart filling all together. Happy baking!
  • Reply Dee Klapstein August 2, 2016 at 5:45 PM We lived on Saskatoons most of my life when we were kids. B.C. Has lots of Saskatoons also..My mother canned them .was our most staple of fruit for the winter..
  • Reply Berry Berry Nice — Celebrating Summer Berries With 43 Recipes | Food Bloggers of Canada August 11, 2016 at 9:59 AM […] Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts […]
  • Reply Katie July 21, 2017 at 10:21 AM How many tarts (approximately) does this recipe make?
  • Reply ทาร์ตบลูเบอร์รี่ - แชร์สูตรขนมอาหารออนไลน์ September 10, 2017 at 6:25 PM […] Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts & Berry How To […]
  • Reply Rebecka October 11, 2017 at 10:57 PM Just a quick question. The pie crust and butter tart filling amounts make approx. 12 tarts but the Saskatoon filling is enough for approx. how many more tarts would you say? Because I would like to make a few dozen tarts so want to know ingredient amounts a bit better before I make these delicious tarts. Thanks! Your tarts are beautiful (:
    • Reply Jo-Anna@APrettyLife October 13, 2017 at 11:56 AM Hi Rebecka! This recipe makes enough Saskatoon filling for one whole pie. So it would easily make 2 or even 3 dozen tarts...

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