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13 July, 2013

Berry Seasonal Tart

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Summer is the best season in North America for wild berry picking. Over 200 species of berries can be seen all across Canada and the Northern region of the US. These two regions are hot spots for foraging the wild and urban sites as well.

I made this recipe with service-berry, also called June berry (Amelanchier  Canadiene). Native to Canada, but only  10 of the services berries are native. These same berries  grow throughout the Northern region of the United States, together with other native service-berries as well. I remember, as the greatest childhood enjoyment, eating this same berries right from a shrub that grew near my house in New York. When was the first berry you picked?… It’s a simple experience hard to forget.

This Juneberry is high in Iron, a good blood builder and it regulates blood pressure due to its phenolic acid content. It is a good source of calcium, antioxidants, riboflavin (B2) and fiber.  What else can you expect for from this wild berry; it even comes for free!

Right on Preston Street, in Ottawa, my family and me picked them straight from a little tree on one of the corners of Little Italy. If you are into urban foraging, hurry! or else birds will take them all.

This recipe was done with the Amalanchier Canadiene, but you can try with any of the other types of Service-berry.

Warning: Seeds in some berries might be toxic to humans and pets. Make sure to always cook these berries if you plan to eat more than a cup.


2 cups of unbleached flour

1 cup real butter from good cows

2 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar or honey

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg from healthy hens (it is best if free run)


Preparation for tart crust

Let butter at room temperature until it softens. Mix all ingredients except the water.  Add water by the spoon, as many as you need and one by one until dough is smooth and manageable. Lay flat on top of a cut open plastic bag, make a round circle by hand (do your best) and then cover with the other half of the plastic bag and press. Roll dough this way using a roller pin by pressing against the plastic. When doing this, try to keep the circular shape of the dough and of a thickness of 1/4″.  Using this technique you will be able to spread out the dough better and keep your kitchen clean. Place your flatten and circular dough in the pan to fit your round removable bottom pan (but you can bake this crust in any pan) and trim any excess.  Depending on the size of your pan, you will have more or less excess on the sides to trim.  The recipe here is for a 12″ pan and I had enough left over after trimming that a saved for shortbread biscuits.

DSCN6975DSCN6976Pie Crust








Then place the crust in the oven at 350 until slightly golden, about 15 min. Remove from oven and let it cool down while you make the filling. Recipe follows.


About 4 cups of Juneberries in a cooking pot.

1/2 cup water

1 package of unflavored gelatin

Sweeten with a combination of 4 tbsp xylitol, 3 measures (tiny mini spoons) of 100% pure stevia and 2 tbsp turbinado sugar or honey.

Combine all these ingredients and bring to boil for few minutes until berries look puffy and floating. Let cool down and place in fridge for 1/2 hour or until thick but not solid like jello. Pour into crust and place inside fridge for a couple of hours or until center feels stiff.

It’s an amazing treat with very low glycemic index, wholesome and pure.

Warning: Consuming too often or too much Xylitol can be detrimental to health. Use substitutes and cycle your health sugars.


Wishing you and your family the best of health,

YOU & I COOK Interactive



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