All around Joyce this little blackberry grows wild. It is sweeter and smaller than other blackberry varieties. James Beard, according to Northwest Wildfoods, called the trailing blackberry “the uncrowned king of all wild berries.” Our berry pickers keep their best picking locations a secret. They manage to pick more than 500 pounds of the sweet little morsels every year.
Since late August is usually the best picking time, the berries are frozen until it is time to make the pies.
On the Thursday before the festival, the pie bakers arrive for step one of the baking. Using a time tested recipe, we assemble the filling and the crust dough. The berries are mixed with sugar and cornstarch in five gallon batches. This is a sweet and sticky job.
Also on day one, the dough is mixed in huge batches. Thanks to Crescent School for letting us use their cafeteria kitchen. Without their big equipment and ovens to make the pies, the job would take so much longer.
On the Friday before the festival, armies of pie bakers arrive with rolling pins in hand. We work from morning till into the evening, rolling crusts, filling pie tins, decorating, and baking the pies.
Folks of all ages come to help in this community effort.
By late Friday afternoon, the Crescent Gym is filled with freshly baked pies. We usually make more than 200 pies.
The finished pies are delivered and ready to be sold.
On the morning of the festival, out pie cutters and sellers arrive. The start cutting the pies and placing them in plates ready to be sold. The ice cream scoopers are ready to top your slice if you like pie ala mode. This team works all day or until the pie slices are all sold.