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Biscuit-and-Oat Blackberry Crisps and a Great Big Thank You!

June 19, 2011

First things first, I want to give an enormous thank you to WordPress for featuring my blog on Freshly Pressed. In that one day I got over 3000 hits on my blog, nearly 100 comments on my post, and more than doubled the number of subscribers to Tart to Heart! Incredible! I absolutely love writing this blog and in the year I’ve had it I’ve been trying to reach out to get more readers. So to those of you who just found Tart to Heart, welcome! And thanks to all of you for your subscriptions, comments, and likes!

Now on to the food!

This post is really a tease. You’re probably thinking, blackberries aren’t even ripe yet! And you’re right– they won’t be ripe around the Northwest until very late July or August. Yet, I made these Biscuit-and-Oat Blackberry Crisps with some of the sweetest, juiciest Northwest blackberries around. How did I do it?

You see, these berries are from last summer’s crop. The same crop I used to make my favorite Apple Blackberry Crumble Pie last summer. The late-to-arrive yet ridiculously-bountiful crop that I attacked with full gusto, bare arms brazenly reaching between thorny vines to pick berry after berry, filling several buckets with the dark juicy jewels. I gently washed the berries, sorted through them meticulously, gobbled handfuls, then spread the rest on baking sheets in the freezer until solid before packing them into ziploc bags to sustain me through fall and winter. A stockpile, you might say.

And now, summer is approaching yet again (sort of…slowly…) and I need to clear out my freezer for this summer’s crop of berries. Well, shoot. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do: make a blackberry crisp.

There was something else in my stockpile that needed eating: a very large package of McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits, brought back all the way from Ireland by my dear friend Theresa who knows how hard I fell for them when I lived over there. If you’ve never had or never heard of digestive biscuits, the name no doubt will throw you. Not to worry, these aren’t some sketchy item you’d find wrapped up in the vitamin aisle of the drugstore posing as a “cookie” while actually harboring fiber supplements or magnesium. I actually don’t know the story behind the name.

What I do know is that digestives are crumbly, slightly sweet and salty, very snackable and delicious. Crumbled up with some oats and butter, these simple little cookies are the perfect crunchy topping to my blackberry crisps.

If you’re trying to get your hands on some digestives, never fear! You don’t have to travel to Europe to find them. Most of my local supermarkets carry them, usually to be found in the small British foods section of the international aisle. They also carry them at Cost Plus World Market. (Just a head’s up, they make chocolate covered digestives as well. Don’t buy these unless you’re okay with eating the entire package.) If you can’t find digestives, you could use graham crackers in a pinch, or even Nilla wafers. They won’t be quite as awesome, but they’ll still taste good!

Biscuit-and-Oat Blackberry Crisps

© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Serves: 4



  • 4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed first)
  • 1/3 cup granulates sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup crumbled digestive cookies (keep them in pretty big pieces for texture)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set four 6-oz ramekins on a baking sheet (you could also bake this as one larger crisp in a square or round baking dish).
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss together the filling ingredients. Set aside while you prepare the topping.
  3. To make the topping, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and rub it into the mixture with your fingers until the mixture can clump together into crumbs. Add the crumbled digestive biscuits and toss with your fingers to combine.
  4. Divide the berry filling among your ramekins. Pile the crisp topping onto each ramekin and pack down lightly. Bake until the topping is golden brown and the berry juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before eating. Serve with some freshly whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 19, 2011 11:13 am

    A quick google, Carly, suggests from Wikipedia that originally the term ‘digestive’ is derived from the belief that the biscuits had antacid properties due to the use of sodium bicarbonate when they were first developed. However, further research suggests that originally, they were infact ‘healthy’ unsweetened brown discs, named because, being ever so plain, they must be ever so good for you. And your digestion. Glad you like them- you should try the chocolate flavoured ones!

    So glad to hear your brilliant blog was picked up by wordpress! And the crisps look delicious!

  2. June 19, 2011 12:08 pm

    Hmm, there’s a lot of juice on those ramekins, slide ’em over to me I’ll clean ’em off.:) Great recipe and I’m so glad you got such a good response from FP. You have a wonderful blog.

  3. June 19, 2011 7:15 pm

    They sound wonderful!

    Could you substitute strawberries? (I’ve been picking) 🙂

    • June 19, 2011 7:27 pm

      Absolutely! I bet strawberries would be equally delicious 🙂 let me know if you give it a try!

  4. June 20, 2011 10:38 am

    Wow, congrats on all of the hits and comments!! So glad more people were able to discover your blog so they can read and love it as much as I do. 🙂 This dessert looks delicious.

  5. June 20, 2011 12:03 pm

    Oh, I love this recipe. I need to get my hands on some blackberries and locate digestives – they’re my favorite from when I lived in Europe, and wonderful for baking!

  6. June 20, 2011 6:03 pm

    YUM. I love crumble – yours looks especially delicious 🙂

  7. June 21, 2011 8:08 pm

    looks so good. and i love the pictures. i need to learn how to take pics like those.

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