These Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts are a delicious twist on a classic Canadian treat! Also learn how to make Saskatoon pie filling and how to freeze these delicious berries!
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 grow in the wild aplenty around here this time of year!
How to Enjoy Saskatoon Berries:
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!
- Eaten fresh on their own
- Served over ice cream
- In Muffins
- Whipped butters
- Basically any way that you would eat a blueberry.
U-Picks are a wonderful resource!
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! Then I got busy with the berries. First I set aside 4 cups of berries for pie filling, then I washed and got the rest ready for freezing.
How to Freeze Saskatoon Berries (2 methods):
How to Dry Pack Freeze Berries (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 t
hem to a ziplock bag, and place them in the freezer until you are ready to use them.
How to Sugar Pack Freeze Berries (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.
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 this filling to make Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts (I cut the filling recipe in half for these tarts). But if you just want to make a pie, you can use my Saskatoon Berry Pie Recipe here!
How to Make Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts
Now on to the star of the show…Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts. These delectable little tarts are a summer favourite around here…they’re part Butter Tart and part Saskatoon Berry Tart and the combination of the two together is amazing!
All the deliciousness of rich butter tarts combined with the sweetness of the Saskatoon berry pie filling…all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust. So good.
I mean seriously, just look at these tarts all jammy and delicious looking.
Saskatoon Berry Butter Tart Recipe Tips:
- You can make 12 – 15 tarts with this recipe. Sometimes I like smaller sized tarts (they’re almost big bite sized) so I will use a smaller cut out to make the crust, and will make 15 tarts instead of 12.
- I use a muffin tin to make these tarts. You don’t need to line the cups with muffin liners though…the tarts will just slide out on their own when you want to remove them.
- This recipe is easily doubled. If you want to make a big batch you can double the recipe.
- You can freeze these tarts! Just keep them in an air tight container in your freezer for up to 30 days. Let them thaw at room temperature. Sometimes I like to put my thawed tarts in the oven at 250 degrees for about 15-20 minutes to warm them up, then I serve them with ice cream!
The Butter Tart Recipe portion is from the Best of Bridge
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. 😉
More Delicious Saskatoon Berry recipes:
This Saskatoon Galette is one of our favourites!
This Saskatoon Berry Pie is a classic and delicious summer recipe!
Have a delicious day!
Note: This post was originally published in August 2013. I just updated it with new pictures and some baking tips!