Saskatoon Tarts

IMG_1739

It’s saskatoon time here on the prairies.  A little earlier than normal what with the heat wave we’ve been having. It’s a drag to have to turn the oven on, but it’s a sacrifice we’ll make to have a taste of these yummy tarts.

The “recipe” is pretty fluid:  for 4 cups of berries, start with a scant cup of white sugar, 3 tablespoons of corn starch, and a 1/4 cup of water.  Stir the sugar and cornstarch together, then add the water.  Add just enough water to be able to melt the sugar and cornstarch together.  Pour over the berries in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often, until berries release their juice, and mixture is hot and bubbly and has thickened.  Taste at this point and add a bit of extra sugar if necessary.  A teaspoon or two of lemon juice helps cut a too-sweet flavor.  Let the berries cool about 40 minutes, stirring gently from time to time, then fill tart shells.   For 3″ tarts, use about 1/8 cup of filling per tart.  A batch of filling this size should fill about 12-15 tarts.  If you would sooner have a pie, this should be enough to fill one 9″ deep-dish pie shell.  Bake the tarts at 375°F for about 14 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbly.  Remove from oven and cool before serving.

IMG_1728

Saskatoon Berry Tarts

IMG_1739It’s saskatoon time here on the prairies.  That means tarts, pies and jam, although this year I’m not feeling the jam and pies, gonna stick with the tarts.

The “recipe” is pretty fluid:  for 4 cups of berries, start with a scant cup of white sugar, 3 tablespoons of corn starch, and a 1/4 cup of water.  Stir the sugar and cornstarch together, then add the water.  Add just enough water to be able to melt the sugar and cornstarch together.  Pour over the berries in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often, until berries release their juice, and mixture is hot and bubbly and has thickened.  Taste at this point and add a bit of extra sugar if necessary.  A teaspoon or two of lemon juice helps cut a too-sweet flavor.  Let the berries cool about 40 minutes, stirring gently from time to time, then fill tart shells.   For 3″ tarts, use about 1/8 cup of filling per tart.  A batch of filling this size should fill about 12-15 tarts.  Bake tarts at 375°F for about 14 minutes until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.  Remove from oven and cool before serving.

IMG_1728

The Great Canadian Butter Tart

What could be easier to help invoke that holiday feeling than delicious butter tarts?  It seems a Christmas baking tray just wouldn’t be complete without these toothsome little treats.  Hubby says he’s never met a butter tart he didn’t like, but in his opinion, this recipe is particularly fine.   Recipes abound, of course, some old and handed down for generations and some new;  I’m always on the lookout for the “perfect” one.  Try this one and see how it measures up.

I’m including the filling recipe only, as pastry is a personal choice.  You can’t beat homemade, hand-formed shells, but good quality store-bought pastry won’t diminish the finished product in any way!

Butter Tarts

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla paste

3/4 cup maple syrup

raisins

Prepare shells.  Sprinkle 5-6 raisins in each shell.  Cream butter and brown sugar.  Stir in vanilla, and then eggs, adding one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in maple syrup and combine thoroughly.   Spoon some filling in each shell, taking care not to overfill.  Bake at 375 degrees F for about 14 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is puffy and bubbling.

I doubled the recipe and made 40 preformed 3″ shells, using a scant 1/8 cup of filling in each.

Lemon Raisin Tarts

Mostly we like butter tarts, but these little lemon babies are sweet and tart, no pun intended, perfect for afters when dinner was ample and rich, say like after Christmas Day dinner with all the trimmings.  I made them this time in the bigger shells, but I really prefer using the tiny shells.  If you use ready-made frozen shells, you can have tons of tarts in no time at all!

Lemon Raisin Tarts

Tart shells – about 18 if using 2 1/2″ shells OR  about 30 if using the teeny tiny 1″ shells

Raisins – place 3-5 raisins in each tart shell

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 lemon, grated rind and juice

1/4 cup light cream (half and half)

Cream butter, gradually add sugar then eggs, lemon juice and grated rind, and cream.  Mix until smooth.  Divide mixture into tart shells, covering the raisins (for the larger shells, I use 1/8 cup for each tart).  Bake at 375 F for about 12 minutes or just until set and pastry is golden.

Sour Cherry Pie

The Evans cherry tree in our backyard is hanging with ruby red sour cherries, begging to be picked and baked in a pie, so we did.  And, I’m so pleased with myself,  for the first time in years, I didn’t run to the grocery store for a shell, but made my own!  How Martha is that? Thanks to my stepdaughter Janice for scouting out this great recipe from the Blue Flame Kitchen.

Evans Cherry Pie

Pastry for a double-crust pie  (I used  this one,  No Fail Pie Pastry, using all Crisco instead of  butter and lard)

5 cups pitted Evans cherries

1 cup white sugar (or more, to taste)

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 tsp almond extract

1 tbsp butter

Milk, for brushing the crust

Sugar, for sprinkling over the crust

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry; fit into a 9” deep-dish plate, allowing for ½” overhang.  Combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and almond extracts; spoon into crust.  Dot with butter.  Roll out remaining pastry and use for top crust.  Trim, fold and flute edges.  Brush top crust with milk and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.  Cut vents in top crust to allow steam to escape.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.  Continue baking for 45-50 minutes until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 37 other followers

Follow Endlessly Delicious on WordPress.com