A tray of Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts
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Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

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!

Saskatoon Berries {A Pretty Life}

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
  • Pies
  • Tarts
  • Pancakes
  • Syrups
  • Jams/Jellies
  • 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 Freeze Saskatoon Berries {A Pretty Life}

 

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!

Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling {A Pretty Life}

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!

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

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.

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

I mean seriously, just look at these tarts all jammy and delicious looking.

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

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!

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

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Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

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!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 - 15 tarts 1x
  • Category: Pie

Ingredients

Scale

Saskatoon Berry Pie Filling:

  • 2 cups Saskatoon berries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch (or flour)

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 cornstarch.
  3. Then add the sugar/flour mix to the berries and combine.
  4. Stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Simmer until the mixture slightly thickens.
  6. 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. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pie dough to about an 1/8 of an inch thickness.
  3. Using a 3 inch circle (like a drinking glass, or cookie cutter), cut out your tart shells, either 12 or 15.  I rework any extra dough to make more tarts.
  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.
  7. Let the tarts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove them onto a cooling rack.

Keywords: butter tart, saskatoon butter tarts, saskatoon pie

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The Butter Tart Recipe portion is from the Best of Bridge

Saskatoon Berry Tarts

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!

Saskatoon Berry Galette {A Pretty Life}

This Saskatoon Berry Pie is a classic and delicious summer recipe!

Saskatoon Berry Pie

Have a delicious day!

Note:  This post was originally published in August 2013.  I just updated it with new pictures and some baking tips!

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43 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      These are so good!
      I do wish it had more Saskatoon flavour.
      I think next time I’ll see if I can find dehydrated Saskatoons or maybe dehydrated blueberries instead of raisins.
      I also used my mother-in-laws butter tart recipe, only 1 egg, brown sugar, half the amount of raisins. Worked great.

        1. My mom’s old trick to making saskatoon a little more flavourful is using almond extract – just a few drops goes a long way.

  1. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. Wondered if you know of anybody who could sell me a homemade jar of Saskatoon pie filling or know of any place I could order some from. Utah has no such thing.

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

    1. 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!

  6. 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

    1. 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!

  7. Hi Jo-Anna, Thanks for posting this tasty and easy recipe. These tarts are the perfect Canadian dessert to serve our guest from the French countryside!

  8. I haven’t had these berries since I was a kid and spent my summers in Saskatchewan. I’ll never forget the wonderful saskatoon berry pies…they do have a unique taste. Can’t get them out n Ontario or I would have a freezer full also….thanks for bringing back great memories.

  9. Can you make the filling and leave in fridge for a week. Need a buy for next weekend. I want it to be fresh. Is this possible. Thank- you.

  10. 5 stars
    I used this recipe to make tarts of the blueberry and saskatoons my daycare kids picked. They loved it

  11. I absolutely love baking with saskatoons. My fiance and I planted 4 shrubs in our backyard so we are blessed with fresh saskatoons every summer. I have mixed feelings for this recipe.
    The saskatoon filling is great! Absolutely love it. The butter tart part of the filling left something to be desired for me. Granted, I’ve never made butter tart filling before, but I am a reasonably experienced baker and was seduced by the simple instructions of melt butter, add ingredients to pot and boil for 3 mins on medium. I ended up with what appeared to be bits of cooked egg in my filling. (Not sure what happened, troubleshooting research yielded no results) Since I used up most of the raisins I had on hand and it still tasted alright, I pressed on. The final product tasted good, but it was not the butter tart of my dreams. I did have remaining dough and saskatoon filling so made some extra tarts with just the saskatoon and those were better in my opinion. Will use this recipe again, but without the butter tart filling.

  12. Simple to make and super delicious. I cheated and used store bought tart shells I had in the freezer. I was worried they wouldn’t be deep enough to fit the Saskatoon filling and the butter tart filling in the right proportions but it was fine. I have some saved for guests that are coming from Ontario. They are going to love it

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