Photo of Blackberry pandowdy by WW

Blackberry pandowdy

Total Time
50 min
20 min
30 min
Grinding the oats with the flour makes a crunchy but very light crust. A pandowdy is easy-to-make, English spiced-fruit dessert, traditionally topped with a biscuit-like dough that is baked until crisp and golden. It is often served topped with whipped cream or à la mode with a scoop of ice cream. A grating of fresh lemon zest over top just before serving adds a nice color contrast and bright flavor that makes all the other ingredients sing. Try this recipe with fresh raspberries, blueberries or strawberries for equally delicious results.



4 cup(s)


¼ cup(s)

Uncooked tapioca

1 Tbsp, quick-cooking or minute variety

Fresh lemon juice

1 tsp

Vanilla extract

½ tsp

Ground cinnamon

½ tsp

All-purpose flour

½ cup(s)

Uncooked rolled oats

¼ cup(s), do not use quick-cooking

Table salt

¼ tsp


1 tsp

Soybean cottonseed shortening

2 Tbsp, solid vegetable variety

Unsalted butter

1 Tbsp


1½ Tbsp, cold

All-purpose flour

1 tsp, divided


  1. Divide the oven in half with the rack; preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Mix the blackberries, 1/4 cup sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl; set aside while you make the crust.
  3. Place 1/2 cup flour, oats, salt, and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar in a food processor or a mini food processor; pulse until the oats are finely ground.
  4. Add the shortening and butter; pulse until the texture of coarse meal. Add the water and pulse just until the mixture gathers into a ball.
  5. Dot your work surface with water, then lay a piece of wax paper on it (the water will hold the wax paper in place). Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon flour over the wax paper. Gather the dough together, place it on the wax paper, and pat it into a flattened circle. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon flour over the dough and top with a second piece of wax paper. Roll the dough to an 8-inch square. Peel off the top layer of wax paper.
  6. Pour the blackberry mixture into an 8-inch square baking pan. Lift up the dough with the bottom piece of wax paper, set it upside down over the filling, and peel off what was the bottom layer of wax paper. Tuck in the edges of the crust, pushing them down into the filling (as opposed to lifting them over the edges of the pan).
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, then crack the crust with a knife into 6 or 7 uneven sections. Press these down slightly into the filling. Continue baking until the berry mixture is bubbling through the cracks, about 5 minutes.