Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableI rather love September – not only because my favourite (!) son was born towards the latter end of the month but also because it’s full of new beginnings. A new school year begins with high hopes and  all the paraphernalia that goes with it – uniform, school shoes, pens and pencils, geometry sets, books, teachers and classmates. Only this year, as Jake enters what is known as Sixth Form (the last two years of school before University) there is no “uniform” other than the Sixth Form tie. All the boys must wear a suit (navy, charcoal or black), a white shirt and black shoes. He does go off to school looking terribly smart!

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableMeaning to make a crumble to showcase a pretty bowl (I know, how shallow am I?), I bought some lovely blackberries and raspberries from the market. But making a crumble seemed akin to admitting that the summer was over – which I am not quite ready to do! The weather has been warm in that September sort of way and the trees seem determined to hang onto their verdant hues though there are a few on the turn too.

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableIt didn’t seem right somehow to be making a winteresque pudding so I adapted the Peach and Amaretti Crisp I made last week to make a Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp. I used a spicy biscuit called Speculoo, added some ground ginger and walnuts to the base and topping and included that gorgeous Japanese citrus flavour called Yuzu in the icing. I used a golden icing sugar which is unrefined – it gives the icing a gorgeous caramel colour and flavour too. Any spicy biscuit will do – by spicy I mean with ginger or cinnamon – not chilli!! And if you can’t get ahold of Yuzu seasoning (please do look out for it – it is amazing in dips and with fish as well as cocktails) then use a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice along with some zest.

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableA quick word on preparing pans for baking. I don’t think that enough emphasis is placed on it but it is essential to do this well so that your delicious and lovingly prepared bakes are easy to turn out and present. If you bake frequently, it is completely worth buying pre-cut circles, strips and rolls of baking paper. In the UK, Lakeland and John Lewis are great resources as are eBay and Amazon. It’s not necessary to grease and paper the tins but do use a few dabs of butter so that the paper sticks to the tin and doesn’t move about.

How to line a baking tinAnd how to easily paper a square or rectangular tin? You can either cut out two long strips that are as wide as the tin so that they cover the base as well as the sides or you can do what I do which is to turn the tin over then drape and cut off enough paper to fit over it. Make a neat pleat at the corners- as if gift wrapping then turn the tin over and the paper should slip straight in. For a circular tin, cut out a strip which is a little longer than the length of the circumference. Then make a narrow fold along the length of it and snip along it at an angle. Dab a little butter along the sides of the tin and place the strip along it with the snipped section flat against the base of the pan. Place a circle of paper on the base on top of the snipped section and you are good to go.  I have lots of tips that you might find interesting on my TIps and Tricks page. If you go over and take a look, do leave your best tips in the comments box. I will include them with a credit to you.

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableI’m taking my Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp along to Angie of the Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday #32 – the weekly virtual get-together where we share fabulous stories and recipes from all over the world. Please do join in by seeing what is on offer or sharing a post. This week (as well as last week) Hilda from Along the Grapevine is helping Angie as a co-host. Hilda lives on a rather idyllic 7 acre property in Ontario, where she shares her stories and recipes of all the things she grows and forages on her land – this week it’s her incredible tomatoes – sigh! And Angie has brought a delicious Chilli con Carne – one of my favourite dishes! A huge thanks to both Angie and Hilda for hosting!!

Ginger, Berry, Nutty Crisp | Selma's TableClick on the Fiesta Friday badge below to join the party – you can submit a post (be sure to include a link to Angie and Hilda’s FF#32 posts – it’s only polite and also ensures that you can be considered for a feature next week!)  or just take a look at others are up to!


Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp

  • Servings: 16 pieces
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


For the base and topping:

  • 80 g Speculoo biscuits (a spicy biscuit)
  • 20 g walnuts
  • 190 g plain/AP flour
  • 50 g oats
  • 20 g ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 150 g cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 50 g chopped walnuts – reserve for the topping

For the filling:

  • 275 – 300 g mixed soft berries I used raspberries and blackberries
  • 1 large egg
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground almonds/almond meal

For the glaze:

  • ½ c golden icing/super fine sugar
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp Yuzu Citrus Seasoning


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C/350 F
  2. Line a 9 inch square tin with greaseproof paper so that the base and sides are covered – use a few dabs of butter to get the paper to stick to the pan.
  3. While the oven is heating up, place the 20 g of walnuts on a tray and toast for 5 – 8 minutes. Cool, then place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Don’t take it too far otherwise you will have a nut paste rather than a nut flour. Set aside.
  4. Place the Speculoo biscuits in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs.
  5. Add the flour, oats, ground almonds, the ground walnuts and ginger and pulse a couple of times to combine.
  6. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse, damp sand.
  7. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture for the topping and tip the rest into the prepared tin. Pat it level – don’t press down too hard or it will be tough – then bake for 15 minutes.
  8. While the base is baking, get the filling ready; sort through the fruit and discard any mouldy ones.
  9. Using an electric mixer and a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until coffee coloured and creamy – about 2 minutes. Then add the almond meal and salt and whisk again. Fold in the berries.
  10. After the base has been in the oven for 15 minutes, remove it and top with the filling – covering the hot base as evenly as you can with the fruit.
  11. Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts and the reserved topping.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then using the lining paper as handles, lift out and place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
  14. Combine glaze ingredients together until smooth and drizzle over the top.

Stores brilliantly, covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

66 thoughts on “Ginger Berry Nutty Crisp

    • I think I prefer the Spring – always such a relief after the cold but I love crunching through leaves in the park too. And I also love all the game and mushrooms and making comforting casseroles and soups…x


  1. I love this time of year too, its the best :)
    Thank you for your tips on lining baking trays, its so useful and I have got some of those pre cut round liners and they’re great, so easy to use. A other lovely dish honey xxx


  2. Well, my birthday is also in the Fall, so of course I get excited when Fall comes around :-). These look delicious! Don’t listen to M-R up there ^^, btw. We love drooling over your goodies! And I love the tips on how to line the baking pans, too. Thank you! <3


  3. Pingback: Best Chili con Carne ever! (Includes vegan version) | Fiesta Friday #32 | The Novice Gardener

    • So glad you like the flavours – it does taste a little Christmassy – waiting for my son to try it and give his verdict – he was left with strict instructions not to dig in before I had a chance to photograph it!


    • Oh, I am so glad if it helps you – something so simple can seem such a bother when you don’t know the technique – I used to draw on the outside of the paper, snip badly at the corners trying to make the paper fit. This simple method makes it so easy!!


    • Haha! I do only have the one son – that is why he is my favourite!! Everyone is foraging blackberries now so this crisp does feel very late Summerish! You are so lucky to be going into Spring! We have the Winter to look forward to – ugh!


  4. Looks like another winner, Selma. What a clever idea for making paper liners to a square pan! I might use my square pan a bit more often now! I have a favourite daughter too! (only one!)


  5. Hi there Selma,
    First, I like the shot you got that shows the different color of the berries . . . . showing that the berry element didn’t turn into one purple mess. Second, speculoos !!! I just discovered speculoos cookies at a little Belgian inspired (soon to be “chain”) cafe called Le Pain Quotidian here in Santa Monica. They also sell “Speculoos Butter” which is like spreadable cookie butter. Not so sure that should be in our cupboards, but anyhow I really enjoyed the flavor of the cookies. Next, I never really gave much thought to the difference between a crisp and a crumble, but then I happened to be looking through Nigel Slater’s book, Ripe, to see what to do with apples, and he talks about the difference between a crumble and a crisp, at least to him, so now I see. Finally, yes to Yuzu! Yuzu is having its moment here in all sorts of preparations and I really like it’s flavor. Your crisp achieved a lovely glossy top! Very nice indeed.


  6. for me……….this is not only beautiful, but informative :) since i live in another side of the world, this is is new and tempting to me. <3
    The fall has not started here yet, but definitely monsoons are retreating :) it will be all gone by the end of this month. Fall will start by mid – October :) and i too love this season, i love the rains too :D


  7. Lovely post and thanks for your kind support. The colour of those berries is superb – I’d say this recipe compensates for the fact that summer is more or less over – this and some other fall fare shared at FF this week. Autumn is beautiful here, but after that comes a long winter. Scary stuff! Maybe that is why I am freezing so many things from the garden to get us through it safely.


    • Michael – thank you! From your blog title, I assumed that – well, never mind. I am following you now and have decided that before my next visit to Canada, I will email you an order for one of your gorgeous boards! Your recipes are fabulous!


  8. I have a love/hate relationship with september, I love the september sunshine and I love autumn in general. But it’s also the month of spiders! I swear they get bigger every year, we’ve had some bigger than my cat (that might be a slight exaggeration!). I definitely appreciate you not wanting to give up summer yet though, this crisp looks amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the golden icing sugar, I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for it because that glaze is definitely something I need to put on everything!
    And thanks for the pan lining tip, I always struggle! Normally I use my trusty goop, but that doesn’t work so well for things like this!


    • Thanks Michelle – I used to be terrified of spiders until I had my son and then I had to be brave about all sorts of things because I didn’t want him to transfer my fears onto him – oh the things you do for your kids!! The unrefined golden icing sugar is by Billingtons – I got it at Sainsburys – it comes in a pale, sand coloured box. Lining baking pans can be such a pain but once you know how to do it, it becomes a cinch – easier than greasing the tin!


  9. Selma what a sweet and lovely image of your son going off to school so very smart looking. Your heart must be so happy every day. The color of the purple berry-ness of your dessert makes my heart pitter-patter as well. Great recipe and story.


    • Teresa – he also showers in the morning now (he was showering in the evenings and then battling with bedhead hair in the mornings!) and slaps on a little cologne and smells ever so nice as he leans down to give me a peck good bye! He goes to a boys school so he’s not trying to impress the girls!! It’s amazing how much they change over one summer. There is a photo of him on my IG feed from the summer. xx


  10. You’re right, September is a great month, I call it the month of the good intentions, some of them will be respected, others will not. A recipe with berries, speculoos and ginger is month them you cannot have respect for! Beautiful post, the image of your son is very sweet!


    • Oh thank you so much!! September really is the month of good intentions. I normally start cutting back on the calories in anticipation of December – but I haven’t started yet…I can’t wait for my veg box tomorrow – I purposely haven’t checked the website to see what is in it as I want to be surprised! Thanks for your lovely comments xx


  11. Pingback: In My Kitchen – September 2014 | Selma's Table

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