Blackberry Cream Cheese Muffins

There are a lot of magical little places up in the Yukon. I was fortunate to work at the incomparable Alpine Bakery, and have struggled to find bread of that quality in either Calgary or Vancouver. There are incredible cafés, restaurants, and shops that would stand out even in the largest cities, and we are always thankful to have these gems in our small town. One such gem is the Chocolate Claim. First, they sell some of my favourite earrings from Lara Melnik, but they also have two types of muffins every day that are sure to knock your socks off (they also used to have a cranberry bread pudding muffin that is as close to heaven as I’ve been, I am not sure they still make it). When I was working at the Yukon Transportation Museum I used to go out of my way a few days a week to get a coffee and muffin. One of my favourites was their Raspberry Chocolate Chip, it had the perfect balance of tart and sweet. My ultimate favourite which seemed to appear less often was the Blackberry Cream Cheese. Their muffins were massive and packed with berries. But the best part was on top there was a hunk of cream cheese, baked into the muffin and lightly crusted with sugar. That nugget of cheesey goodness POPPED with the flavour of the muffin.


Continue reading

Saskatoon and Fruit Pies… an experiment of sorts. A wonderful experiment.

Living in berry country is great. Our friends, the Taylors have Saskatoon bushes out at their house on the lake and a couple weeks ago Natalie, their daughter, called to let us know that she had picked a batch of berries for us. Huzzah! Pies were to be made! We made these pies for Dad’s party, as they were another favourite of his. They were supposed to be straight Saskatoon berry pies but we realized that we didn’t have enough Saskatoons. So they were going to be Saskatoon and blueberry pies… but when Kellie and I got to baking we realized we didn’t even have enough of those two combined… so we frantically looked around the kitchen and assessed the fruit situation. We had oranges, bananas, five measly plums, and two apples. Huzzah! We quickly dismissed the bananas and oranges (whew) and started cutting up the rest of the fruit. We ended up with enough Saskatoon and blueberry filling to fill the first pie, I scooped out four scoop of that filling to round out the Saskatoon Blueberry Plum and Apple Pie. Both were huge successes and Mom really couldn’t tell the difference in them, the Saskatoons really took over the flavour profile perfectly. Enjoy!

Saskatoon Pie with variations


Klondike Pastry (makes enough for the crust and tops of two pies)

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb (2 cups) shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 3/4 cup cold water

Saskatoon and Blueberry Pie (makes one 9-inch pie)

  • 7 cups fresh or frozen Saskatoon berries
  • 1 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Saskatoon, Blueberry, Apple, and Plum Pie (yes, it is many things) (makes one 9-inch pie)

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen Saskatoon berries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 apples, sliced and chopped
  • 4-5 small plums, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1  cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Prepare your Klondike Pastry:
    In a large bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar. Cut in your shortening until you have pea-sized bits throughout.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together your egg, vinegar, and cold water.
    • Pour your egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix only until a dough forms, don’t over mix. Split dough in half, roll out each half to desired thickness, lay into your pie plate, press lightly to fill and cut around the edges. Re-roll left over dough to form the top. Cut a shape out of the top layer before laying it onto the fruit mixture.
  3. Onto the fruit! In a large saucepan, simmer berries (and apple and plums, if doing that version) with the water for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir the lemon juice into the fruit mixture, allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and sugar, stir into the berry mixture.
  6. Pour the filling into your pie crusts. Place the top layer over the pie, pinch to seal the edges. If desired, use a pastry brush to brush the top with some milk and sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F  and bake for an additional 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Delicious berry filling (pre-realization that we needed WAY MORE FILLING)

The first pie, gloriously filled.

The second pie, the four-fruit filling pie.

This Saskatoon berry shape is old and well used.