Saskatoon Tarts

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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.

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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.

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