Your Dawn's Apricot and Brown-Butter Breakfast Crisp


There is a beautiful print hanging in my room titled, “Before Dawn.” I bought it back in college on a morning walk through the quiet downtown. It reads:

I’ve always liked the time before dawn because there’s no one around to remind me who I am supposed to be. So it’s easier to remember who I am.

This has always stuck with me. In college, and I guess all my life, I’ve found myself constantly burning my candle at both ends. (I blame my Momma. ;) We’re one in the same.) We believe in working hard, helping others, and finding strength in our faith and our rocks. But because of this, we often forget to take time for ourselves–to stop and breathe…and look, and listen, and laugh, and hug, and sit, and enjoy.

So since every evening and weekend of August has been practically overbooked, I decided to wake up early on a Wednesday morning, skip making my bed, and refind my “dawn.” The result was an incredible, watercolor-like dish of orange, pink, and red organic apricots, and a brown-butter crisp topping blessed by the sunrise gods.

Your Dawn’s Apricot and Brown-Butter Breakfast Crisp


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Breakfast Apricot Crisp

Recipe makes about 4-6 servings


Fruit Base

  • 1 pound apricots
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Grated fresh nutmeg, a pinch

Crisp Topping

  • ½ stick (4 tablespoons, 2 ounces) butter, browned (see directions below)
  • 6 tablespoons turbinado or regular sugar (turbinado, also sold as Sugar in the Raw, gives an excellent crunch)
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (or a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pit and cut your apricots into quarters, or use Deb’s rustic approach to prepare the fruit: “Pull apart apricots at their seam, remove pits, and tear them one more time into quarters.”
  2. Placing them in a small baking dish (one that holds two to three cups is ideal).
  3. Stir in sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Set aside and prepare your brown butter by melting it in a shallow saucepan. The butter will begin to bubble and foam up a bit. Gently stir and watch carefully as the color will begin to brown. It may take a few minutes for the butter to melt, but when browning process begins, it will happen fast. Be prepared to remove from heat as soon as the color becomes a light caramel color and the aroma will smell slightly nutty. Immediately remove from heat and place on a cool surface to help stop the butter from cooking further or perhaps burning. If the butter starts to blacken, you might want to sacrifice the butter at start over. 
  5. Stir in sugar, then oats, then flour, salt and almonds until large clumps form. Sprinkle topping over the fruit.
  6. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes and enjoy a warm, slightly sweet, slightly tart serving…maybe even back in the comforts of your unmade bed.

Be still and remember–it’s your morning and your dawn. Breathe it in, love it out.