Photographs by Alexandra Grablewski


Pear and Fig Breakfast Crisp

If you have ever had a piece of fruit pie for breakfast and wished it was a little less sweet and more, well, breakfasty, this pear and fig crisp is for you. The granola-like topping provides you with your daily dose of nuts and seeds—crunchy toasted almonds, chewy hemp seeds, and cheery green pepitas—all clustered with maple syrup–coated oats. Pears and figs together evoke thoughts of crisp fall mornings, but you can make this breakfast crisp year-round as long as you have ripe but firm pears.

While berries are the fruit with the most solid evidence for protecting your brain health, pears and figs, are a close second. Both provide impressive amounts of fiber, potassium, and flavonoids. Pears, especially, provide the type of flavonol linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

Excerpted from The Brain Health Kitchen by Annie Fenn (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023

Photographs by Alexandra Grablewski

Pear and Fig Breakfast Crisp

Pear and Fig Breakfast Crisp


  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ripe but firm red or green Anjou or Bosc pears (1½ pounds/680 g), cored and sliced ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • ½ cup (90 g) dried figs, sliced ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • 1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
  • ½ cup (45 g) sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 2 tablespoons hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Plain, unsweetened yogurt (coconut, whole milk, or nut-based)


  1. 1 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. 2 Whisk together 1 tablespoon each of the maple syrup and oil, the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of the vanilla, the ginger, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl. Fold in the pears and figs. Transfer to a 9-inch (23 cm) square baking dish.
  3. 3 Using the same bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, the remaining 2 tablespoons each maple syrup and oil, the remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss well to combine and sprinkle evenly over the pears.
  4. 4 Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 18 minutes, until the filling is thick and bubbling and the crisp topping is golden brown.
  5. 5 Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold scooped into bowls. Top with a dollop of yogurt.


TIP: You can assemble the crisp the day before, refrigerate it overnight (tightly covered), and pop it in the oven in the morning.
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