Summer fruit is like an open invitation that pie season has begun. Bakers start making their crusts, and discussing whether or not butter or Crisco or lard is the secret ingredient. And as much as I love pie and adore making it, sometimes simplicity rules. Sometimes it's nice not to fuss over the dough or the crimping, and instead just pile seasonal fruit into a baking dish, scatter some simple crisp topping and throw it in the oven.
When blueberries are in season, I make pie. I can't get enough fresh blueberry pie and whenever I think that perhaps I've hit my quota, I remember the gray, cold days of February and make one more. But beyond blueberry pie, I love to make crisps or cobblers with my farmers market hauls.
Pie is more structured and takes more forethought and planning. Crisps and crumbles can be spontaneous and haphazard — the best part of throw-together summer desserts. This is, hands down, my favorite way to bake with summer fruit. And the best part is that once you discover a good all-purpose crisp topping, you can commit it to memory and use it at home or while traveling, with strawberries or with apples, for kids and adults alike.
While there are more hours of daylight in each summer day, I'd rather be spending them outside soaking it in instead of rolling and crimping over a hot oven. Call me crazy.
→ Read More: How to Make a Fruit Crumble by Emma Christensen for The Kitchn
(Images: Emma Christensen)