Pie Camp Pie High

Pie Camp Pie High

Pie Camp was so much fun! It’s a week later, and I’m still on a Pie Camp Pie High. I’m getting emails and texts from Pie Campers about how much fun they had, how much it meant to them, and pictures of post-camp pies.

Pie Campers Whidbey Island, WA May 2014,

Pie Campers Whidbey Island, WA May 2014

Pie Camp has found it’s new home at The Quintessa.

Welcome to Pie Camp

Welcome to Pie Camp

The big kitchen there was just about perfect for teaching in, and for making our pastry creations, plus the view of the water and Olympic Mountains is picture postcard perfect.


The Quintessa in early spring. Whidbey Island, WA (Denise Stiff Photo)

After settling in to our rooms, we gathered informally in the main kitchen. Pie Camper Andrea had graciously brought sparkling rosé which we enjoyed while we created name tags with the essentials — Name, Town, Favorite Pie. We wore them through our days together.


Pie Camp Counselor Robin (center) with sister pie campers!

Beauty in small things.

I’ve always wanted a reason to have some of the pretty color markers that I see in those big packs and making name tags was the perfect reason to finally get them.

We made a few other things too!



How Much Pie Can You Talk About for 5 Days?

You know, some have asked, “What about Pie can there be to talk about for five days?” Well, there’s ALOT actually. We talked pretty much for five days straight and could have gone on for five more…easily!

Relaxing and talking pie.

Relaxing and talking pie.

And when we were not talking pie, we were baking pie. I looked in the kitchen on Saturday night at 10:30 and there were pie experiments still going on.

A little avocado pie!

A little zest for a wee pie!

We rolled our way through:

  • 40 pounds of King Arthur Flour
  • 20 pounds of Irish Butter graciously supplied by the KerryGold
  • 15 pounds of Leaf Lard
  • 20 pounds of sugar
  • 10 dozen eggs
  • 20 pounds of ripe organic apricots generously sent to us by Frog Hollow Farms (thank you Farmer Al!)
  • 16 pounds of local farm grown rhubarb
  • 30 +++ pounds of raspberries, blueberries, apples and pears
Apricots from Frog Hollow Farm

Apricots from Frog Hollow Farm


Making dough

Ready to roll!

Ready to roll!

Laying a pretty dough into the pan.

Laying a pretty dough into the pan.

Camp Counselor Robin and I team taught a session on edges, lattice work, and decorative tops. Campers then practiced them as we made little 5 inch pies.

Robin shows how to finish an edge.

Robin shows how to finish an edge.

Practicing an edge finish.

Practicing an edge finish.

Now THAT'S a lattice top!

Now THAT’S a lattice top!

Can you guess what's inside?

Can you guess what’s inside?

Painting on an egg white wash.

Painting on an egg white wash.

Pie Camp Counselor Duncan checks to see if they done.

Pie Camp Counselor Duncan checks to see if the pies are done.


That’s my boy, Pie Camp Counselor Duncan!

Knowing that we would be making and eating pastry and fruit, our meals were protein rich and full of veggies and greens. Pie Camp Chef Vincent Natress of Relish lovingly prepared them and Kevin Cedargreen of Cedargreen Cellars matched perfect wines to his menus. Chef Vincent and Kevin received thumbs up from everyone!

Lots of greens and veggies at Pie Camp.

Lots of greens and veggies at Pie Camp. (Denise Stiff Photo)

Pie Campers took advantage of the free time built in each day to go bike riding, visit the village of Langley to hunt for treasures in thrift stores and boutiques, walk the 2 miles to the beach to make sure their 10,000 steps were met, and we all enjoyed our visit to the Famers Market at Bayview on Saturday morning.

Bayview Farmers Market, Whidbey Island

Bayview Farmers Market, Whidbey Island


Fresh and very local!

These carrots couldn't be any fresher.

These carrots couldn’t be any fresher.

Local crafts, too!

Local crafts, too!

We practiced the fine art of relaxing, too.

A quiet moment at Pie Camp.

A quiet moment at Pie Camp.

I think I can say for all of us, that we had a pretty Pie-fect time.


Rolling pins ready!

Counting the days until the next Art of the Pie Camp in November! 2014

Counting the days until the next Pie Camp in November 2014!

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  1. Joan says

    More than a lifetime of memories made! As I have told everyone here at home, I came back with a pie and 18 new friends!! Of, course someone had to ask just where I’m keeping those 18 friends! And the only answer I had was “in my heart”… I learned that there is a pie culture that runs far/wide and deep. The history of pie that can be learned…amazing! Kate so graciously shared some history with me one afternoon as we looked up other pie makers web sites, blogs and pictures….WOW!! As I patiently wait for my leaf lard to arrive, I have been dreaming in my head what types of pies I will be experimenting with and my friends have all volunteered to be taste testers!!

  2. says

    It was a fabulous pie-filled weekend. I highly recommend it to all. It was so much fun to meet everyone. Such a diverse group – all ages, singles, friends, sisters, mother/daughter combos, and mother/son/son’s girlfriend combo – just a great group of pie bakers, pie eaters, and all-round pie lovers. The Quintessa is the perfect place to hold an event like this and Chef Vince’s food was almost as good as our pies. 😉

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