Cookbook Writing and Recipe Review: Pear Berry Crisp

I've always wanted to write my own cookbook. Starting the process can be a little daunting, to say the least. I'm far off from making this a reality, but for now I'll slowly work on this goal, bit by bit. In order to develop and write my own recipes, it helps to read and make the recipes of other cookbook writers. I'm actually not the best at following recipes, since I love improvising a bit and making small changes thoughout the cooking process. 

The cookbook I've been testing the recipes of is from a fellow blogger, Danielle Walker.  She's come out with two cookbooks, and both have fantastic, healthy recipes! This recipe comes from her first book, Against All Grain.

Danielle has a focus on healthy recipes with varying dietary restrictions due to her own personal medical issues. Though I don't often cook or eat with any dietary restrictions in mind, I do like to find new ways to cook and eat healthily. I also have friends who have certain restrictions, so it's useful to have a few tasty recipes under my belt that I can cook for them.

This recipe, though sounding very much like a dessert, was listed in the breakfast section of the book. The recipe description says this works for both breakfast or dessert. At first I found that a bit odd, but after making the recipe, I can understand why.  

I really enjoyed this dish, but wouldn't want it for dessert. Sure, you could pair it with ice cream to make things decadent, but this is definitely a recipe that tastes on the healthy side and isn't sweet.  I think it makes so much more sense for breakfast with a cup of coffee or a few dollops of yogurt [if you're a yogurt person, I'm not!]. 

I made the recipe once exactly as it was written and a second time with my own personal preferences swapped in.  Since I don't want to share her recipe [since I'm sure she'd prefer you purchase the cookbook and try it yourself!] I'm going to share my version of it.  

Pear Berry Crisp [Revised]

  • 2lbs pears [D'Anjou, Bartlett or Bosc all work well] cored, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups blackberries [I like them best, but you can mix in blueberries and raspberries too!]
  • 1 TBsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp coconut flour [regular flour works just as well]
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice


  • 2 TBsp. coconut oil, plus 1/2 tsp for greasing the pan [butter also works! :)]
  • 2/3 cup raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup raw pecans
  • 6 dates, pitted [if you can't find dates, try using 1/4 cup raisins instead]
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375. Place all the ingredients [not including the topping ingredients] into a bowl and combine. Grease a one quart baking dish [an 8" square baker worked well]. Add all the topping ingredients to a food processor and pulse until it resembles the consistency of oats. Pour the fruit mixture into the pan and cover with the topping mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are bubbly and the crisp is brown.