Maybe it’s blasphemous to even suggest it, but do you ever feel like sometimes pie just isn’t…worth it?

I don’t mean to suggest that pie isn’t worth eating. Sometimes it just isn’t worth the effort of making: first you have to roll the dough, and then there’s the assembly process, and generally a lot of waiting is involved. And then there’s the frustrating requirement that you cut a slice each time you want a taste, when what you’d really like to do is just straight up eat the filling with a spoon. It’s problematic.

This crumble is the solution to all pie-related problems, in that it enables you to enjoy all the good parts of pie with none of the hassle. It’s incredibly easy to make, assemble and eat. It’s basically an excuse to just eat pie filling. Not to mention, it is full of colorful, summery berries that will fill your apartment with a delicious aroma, and yes, it contains cheese. I’m a fan of any recipe that incorporates cheese (the most superior of ingredients) especially in such an unexpected context. Don’t worry, you can’t really taste it; it just adds an extra creaminess to the crumble topping.  This recipe also rewards creativity–if you’re feeling blackberries instead of blueberries, feel free to mix it up. Get innovative, get crazy, throw in some pineapple. It all works out!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 9

1/2 pound strawberries, cored and quartered
1 small package blueberries
1 small package raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Spread berries evenly into a 9×9 inch baking dish and sprinkle sugar and cornstarch over the top.

Photo by Maggie Gorman

3. In another bowl, mix oats, cheese and brown sugar together. Mix maple syrup with melted butter and pour over the oat mixture, tossing together until a wet, clumpy mixture forms.

Photo by Maggie Gorman

4. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over berries.

Photo by Maggie Gorman

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until berries are bubbling and crumble topping is lightly crisped. Serve with some vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Photo by Maggie Gorman