"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Pie in the Sky – Happiness at 10,000 feet

by Julie on August 12, 2010

in BHC Eats Out

blackberry pie at Pie in the Sky

That's all I want, Diane: Cup of coffee. Piece of cherry pie.

I’m not really an outdoorsy type. But I can be talked into a hike if promised extraordinary scenery, relative ease of travel, and/or a cold beer at the end. That or pie.

Which is how my friend talked me into this one – she promised me all four items. Including a warm piece of pie from that Mammoth Mountain institution, Pie in the Sky.

Sue King

Sue King and the friendliest waitress in the world

She warned, however, that we’d have to make good time on our hike. The pies, made fresh each day by proprietress Susan King, tended to sell out by mid-day.  And indeed, when our party of six arrived at the tiny inn at Rock Creek Lakes and Resorts, all that were left were blackberry, lemon creme and chocolate pecan slices.

When we left, there was only one piece of chocolate pecan left. We dined under the glowering stares of many disappointed hikers who came in behind us. Tough patooty, fellahs. Walk faster next time.

Lemon Creme pie at Pie in the Sky

The Girl had lemon creme

Sue King and her husband Jim bought this charming little restaurant about 30 years ago.  The place had already made a reputation as the place to go for fresh pie apre hike, thanks to the efforts of two women known mostly as “The Pie Ladies.” King took up where they left off.  These days she bakes on average 40 pies a day, of all sorts, depending on the season, and sells out most days easily.

For instance, by the time we staggered in, the rhubarb pie was long gone. Ditto the Dutch apple, blueberry and cherry pies.

“Don’t know what it is,” she told me over the counter, refilling my coffee mug for the third time. “People just really seem to appreciate a warm piece of pie after a hike up to the lake.”

Go figure. We appreciated our slices of pie as expected. And yes, as promised, my piece of blackberry pie was indeed warm. Within minutes, there was nary a crumb left on anybody’s plate.

blackberry pie all gone at Pie in the Sky

Lick this photo

The boy begged me to return and buy him another slice of pie. He really wanted to try the banana creme pie. Alas, his mother’s navigational skills made finding the place again a challenge that bested her, and we continued our drive back home.

To placate him, I promised to make him a banana creme pie when we returned. He sounded (smartly) dubious of my abilities. “And you said you’d never buy a pie when you could make one.”

“I made you a strawberry pie like I promised,” I reminded him. “I mean, I eventually did.”

“Yeah, but that was easy,” he said. “Anyone could make a strawberry pie. That’s what you think of when you think of pie.”

“And banana creme isn’t?”

“You can’t make a banana creme pie,” he said.

Oh can’t I? (Oh can I?”)

Stay tuned.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin August 14, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Glad to see Cooper is alive and still eating pie.


Bruce August 15, 2010 at 6:16 am

Just had lemon meringue yesterday. It’s been so long — and it’s soooo delicious!


Ronnie August 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm

My mom used to make wonderful banana cream pie. When I grew up, I realized it was simple too! Just mix INSTANT vanilla pudding (a big box) with 1/2 the amount of milk called for and a pint of sour cream. Bake the pie crust, layer with banana slices and pudding and chill. Top with whipped cream, if desired. Voila!


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