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


Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

A tray of Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts

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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



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


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.

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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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