Blueberry Tall Pie
A delicate glow fills a cluttered room. The dew-laden windows diffuse the harsh rays of the morning sun letting only the pleasant brightness poke through to wake tired eyes. Patterns of light, filtered through trees and blinds and fading dew, fade in and out; their marks on the carpet and walls appear and disappear as distant clouds race about the sky.
Coffee is brewed. Rogue dishes from the night before are cleaned up. A bowl of blueberries is rinsed. The long streaks of light drawn across the cold tile floor fade away as a cloud hides the sun. Soon the diffused glow filling the room disappears too. Distant booms perk up the ears and hint at a pending storm. They build in intensity and quickly becoming close enough to shake the house.
Another summer storm quickly passes leaving the air filled with the metallic smell. Clouds begin to dissolve. Rays of light soon find their ways back inside, bouncing about a messily set table and the family scattered around it enjoying the delicate tang of a tall blueberry pie. Maple syrup adds a nostalgic sweetness and lemon cuts through the strong blueberry flavor.
Slices are cut. Fallen blueberries are spooned onto an already too-tall slice. A fork prepares a bite-sized pile and the cackling laughter over a years-perfected inside joke cease for just a moment as bites are savored.
Tall Pies: Despite the name, this dessert is actually technically a tart (tarts are freestanding desserts where the dough holds the filling; pies are filled desserts that must remain in the pie dish as the crust would be unable to support the dessert on its own). This tall pie is baked somewhat like a tart (using a springform pan instead of a tart pan) and somewhat like a pie (everything going into the oven at the same time with no blind baking and filled more like a traditional pie).
Because of the size, a long baking time is required. Even at 1.5 hours, the filling can still be runny so for a more congealed or set filling I suggest mashing about half of the blueberries and allowing the pie to rest and cool completely after baking before slicing.
- 2 pounds Whole Wheat Brown Sugar Crust (recipe blow)
- 3 pounds blueberries
- Zest & Juice from 3 lemons
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 6 ounces sugar
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ pound blueberries for topping
- Combine the 3 pounds blueberries, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup and sugar together in a bowl. Stir to combine and mash half of the blueberries (less if you want more whole blueberries and a runnier pie). Set aside to macerate for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line the bottom and sides of the springform pan with parchment paper.
- Roll out the whole wheat brown sugar crust to ¼" and line the springform pan with the dough, pushing it to the bottom, sides and corners. Trim any extra dough from the top so it is level with the pan. Set aside.
- Add the cornstarch to the blueberry macerate. Mix in well. Pour the pie filling into the lined springform pan.
- Place the pie in the oven.Reduce the heat to 375°F.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes (or until the filling looks thick and bubbly). You may need to cover the top of the pie with foil after 30 minutes to keep the crust from over browning.
- Remove from the oven and let the pie cool completely. Add a layer of fresh blueberries on top if you like.
Short Dough: Most tarts use a form of short dough to create the base. Short dough is essentially a cookie dough (butter, sugar, eggs & flour). Unlike pie dough that is flaky, short dough becomes firm and rigid allowing the tart to stand on its own. Because short doughs often contain a lot of butter and sugar in relation to flour, they are a very wet/soft dough. Short doughs must be refrigerated for an hour or more before rolling out. The brown sugar in this recipe gives this dough a tangy sweetness while the whole wheat pastry flour gives it a wonderfully earthy, nutty flavor.
- 10 ounces unsalted butter, at room temp.
- 8 ounces brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 15 ounces whole wheat pasty flour
- Mix the sugar, butter and egg together until combined.
- Add the flour and mix until a dough forms.
- Form the dough into a disk and wrap in parchment paper.
- Place in the refrigerator and chill for a couple hours.