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Wild Saskatoon Berry Pie | Adeline Panamaroff

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Have a craving for juicy summertime fruits? Can’t afford the prices at the fruit stands or the grocery store?

Try the mid-summer delights of wild saskatoon berries!

Tall graceful plants with supple, slim trunks, saskatoon berries, or serviceberries love water. In the urban wilderness, they can be found near river, creek or pond banks.

They broadcast their presence in May with their white flowers. In a zone 3 climate area, the fruit of that early flowering becomes apparent with clusters of dark purple berries.

Saskatoon Berry

Picking 4-litre buckets of these berries for a 2-week stretch every July was one of the ways my parents kept my sisters and I occupied over the school break.

Not having a long attention span, I would often bug my older sister for stories to entertain my mind as we picked.

When a story would end, often it would be our Mom who would ask for another one! Buckets filling as we picked, buckets emptying as we sorted through the harvest, while watching reruns of the classic Star Trek series, or I Dream of Jeannie, are nostalgic memories.

I relive these memories as I now pick saskatoon berries with my husband and later share a chair with my cat as I sort them on the deck with the cool breeze rustling the shiny leaves in the willow tree. 

What can be done with saskatoon berries can be as simple as eating them fresh from the plant, as the fruit portion of your meal on yogurt or ice cream.

This fruit can also be used in baked desserts such as berry crisps or pie fillings.

They can also be frozen whole, like blueberries, for when you are lucky enough to have an excess. They can easily be thawed and used in baked desserts, smoothies, or as toppings on cereals, crepes and pancakes.

Also, saskatoon berries mix well with rhubarb, usually in a stewed fruit situation. 

 

Utensils: 

  • collection containers
  • sieve
  • 2 bowls
  • medium saucepan with lid
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cup
  • mixing spoon

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups saskatoon berries
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. flour

 

Directions

 

  1. Harvest and sort the berries. Saskatoon berries can be wormy. If there is a dry scab or the berry is deformed in any way, it probably has a worm in it, so discard it. 
  2. Wash the berries in a sieve.
  3. Measure out 4 cups of fruit.
  4. Cook fruit with water covered in the saucepan on medium-low heat until they come to a slow boil. 
  5. Add sugar and lemon juice to the cooking fruit, then add the flour. 
  6. Take off the heat once the mixture thickens.
  7. Fill two prepared pie crusts with the saskatoon berry pie filling and bake as you would any other pie. 
  8. Let cool to room temperature, refrigerate to let the pie set, then slice and enjoy on its own or with ice cream or yogurt. 

 

Saskatoon berry pie is the best in my book.

They can also be thoroughly mixed with rhubarb, which is cooked along with the berries in the above recipe. This mix of fruits gives the pie a tangy edge. 

Both picking these berries, and making the pies, have been a summer ritual for me for many years.

I often have to be creative with my freezer space to store the excess that can be harvested on my urban foraging trips.

It is well worth the hunt for these mid-July treasures. 

 

 

——————

Adeline Panamaroff is a freelance writer/proofreader located in Edmonton. Alberta. She has written for local publications such as Edmonton as Museum Project, Edmonton Stitcher, Moshi Moshi, and Embroidery Canada. Finding wonder and joy in the ordinary and then writing about it is where Adeline finds her inspiration. Food, gardening, textile arts, and history are only but a few of the areas she enjoys to write about.

 

Read more here:

 

Gooseberry Jam | Adeline Panamaroff

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