These Saskatoon Berry tarts made me realize that the Cree people from the Canadian prairies knew a good thing when they found it. Aboriginal people and early settlers in Western Canada have been eating Saskatoon berries (also known as Prairie Berries) for hundreds of years. This berry is believed to have significant antioxidant properties much higher than strawberries or raspberries with anti-cancer, anti-aging and anti-heart problem benefits, helping to guard our immune systems. They are significantly higher in protein, fat, fibre, calcium, magnesium, manganese, barium, and aluminum than blueberries.
Hmmm . . . combining them with sugar and fat in this recipe probably negates some of those benefits, but these tarts sure taste good!
Here is another recipe from the Saskatoon Berry Farm in Cobble Hill, BC. I’ve adapted this a little from the original recipe.
Saskatoon Berry Tarts
Fills 12 baked tart shells, or 8 four-inch individual tart pans.
Never Fail Pastry (Makes enough for 2 crust pie or 8 4-inch tart pans.)
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 c. chilled butter
- 1 tbsp. vinegar
- 1/3 c. milk
1. Put flour and salt in food processor and pulse.
2. Cube butter, then add to flour in processor bowl and pulse till it resembles coarse meal.
3. Add vinegar to milk. Add all at once to flour mixture. Pulse until it just forms a ball.
4. Remove and divide into two balls. Place on waxed paper or plastic wrap, flatten gently into a disc, top with another layer of wrap, fold over and refrigerate if not using right away.
This is a reliable recipe that is true to its name.
Read how to pre-bake a pie shell here.
- 4 oz. light cream cheese
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon rind (or more)
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
Blend together all ingredients. cover bottom of each tart shell with the cream cheese mixture.
- 3 cups Saskatoons
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- 2 tbsp Gran Marnier (optional)
1. Crush 1 cup of berries and place in small saucepan with water. Simmer about two minutes.
2. Strain and return Saskatoon berry juice to saucepan. Combine sugar and cornstarch and add to sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and clear.
3. Stir in liqueur. Add remaining 2 cups of Saskatoons to glaze and stir gently.
4. Cool, then fill tarts. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream if you think you need more calories.
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