[Photograph: Lauren Weisenthal]

Blueberry season is upon us, and those of us who love baking but hate dealing with fruit prep can rejoice. Free of pesky green stems, pits, or cores to remove and skins to peel, blueberries are a low-maintenance, delicious choice for packing fruit pies with flavor and sweet juices without having to stand over a bowl with a paring knife while everyone else relaxes outside. This crumble version takes ease to new heights, eliminating the traditional top crust in favor of a sweet and slightly savory oat topping which gets nonchalantly crumbled over the top. A welcome relief from wrangling a pretty, flaky crust in the heat.

When selecting the best blueberries, there are a few tips to keep in mind: choose berries that are deep purple or blue in color. Do not be alarmed by what appears to be a white, matte coating on the berries, this is completely normal, and don't hesitate to go for berries that look relatively tiny in size. It's color that is most important, especially if you are lucky enough to get the smaller, wild variety of blueberry. The most important factor to consider when baking with summer fruit is that it can vary wildly in sweetness levels from year to year: use your palate to adjust sweetness accordingly.

So save yourself some time and make this pie for your next barbecue. I think you'll find that it's everything you'll ever want from a summer dessert, and it makes a damn fine breakfast item too.

Get the Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie ยป

About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.

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