About 30-40 minutes north of Boise, in the small (blink and you’ll miss it) town of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho, in a nondescript building just off Highway 55, there lies one of the more famous pie makers in all the state – Volcanic Farms!
Despite being so close (as the crow flies) to Boise, I sit here almost embarrassed that I have never, purposefully ventured there to sample one of these legendary pies. Sure, I had been on that highway more times than I can count, when making my way north to McCall, Moscow and even as far as Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint. But every time I passed by, it was during off hours and the store was always closed. It was a timing thing you see, yet still no excuse to for a beautiful and scenic afternoon drive for the chance to dig into a Volcanic Farms pie.
My brother, who has a place in McCall and tends to travel this road quite frequently, often picks up a Volcanic Farms pie for his family. It was during one of these return trips, that I just happened to be at his Boise home, when he had one of these pies. This was many years ago, but I assure you, the taste of that pie has never been forgotten!
But, finally, as chance would have it, the wife just happened to be spending a ‘girls weekend’ in Cascade, another small, lakeside town just north of Horseshoe Bend. Naturally, I saw this as an excellent opportunity to finally get a chance at a Volcanic Farms pie, and called and told the wife, to pick one up on her way home. She grabbed a Huckleberry Pie.
I must say, I couldn’t wait to dig in. After all these years, after all the pies and recipes that I have flipped through on my own pie making venture, and more importantly, after my “failed attempt” at making a Huckleberry Pie, I was finally going to be able to taste one made by one of the best in the State of Idaho!
The Crust tho’?
For my last birthday, the wife had picked up a Marie Calendar’s Triple Berry Pie. It was ‘OKAY’. The filling was great but the crust (though it looked fantastic), was bland and tasteless. The crust on this Volcanic Farms Huckleberry Pie was anything BUT!
It was flaky. That much you could tell just by looking at the photo, but it had great flavor as well. What I especially liked about it was how thick it was? The bottom crust especially was thicker than crusts I had made, and I made note to work on that on my next pie. I tended to roll out my crusts thin, but now that I had just experienced this Volcanic Farms thick crust, my thin crust creations were getting ready to get retired, and fast!
I had ‘attempted’ to make a Huckleberry Pie and failed miserably. The entire experience was a huge turn-off for me, from purchasing a VERY expensive batch of Huckleberries at a local corner produce market, to perhaps choosing a recipe I found online that probably wasn’t the best example to follow. Or maybe, I just screwed it up somewhere along the line. In any case, I didn’t like it and never went back to make another attempt at it.
So naturally, when I found out that Volcanic Farms had Huckleberry Pies ready to go, I jumped at the chance to get into a REAL Huckleberry Pie.
The filling was amazing. I still had ‘not too fond’ memories of my own Huckleberry filling, so I nearly puckered up when I heaped a fork-full of the Volcanic Farms Huckleberry pie into my mouth. To my amazement, it was NOTHING LIKE my failed experiment and was crazy good! The slice came up and out of the pie dish perfectly, and the huckleberries were soft, juicy and not too sweet. More surprising to me is the lack of ‘stems’ in the filling. I swear, that was the toughest part for me, getting rid of all the minuscule stems on each and every tiny huckleberry. How did they do it?!
Luckily, no one else in my household like Huckleberry Pie, so this pie I will personally own without shame! But I’ll be taking it down slow, because at $26, there is not a single flaky crumb I plan to waste! And why would I?! This pie definitely lived up to the legends!
Volcanic Farms is located at 457 ID-55, Horseshoe Bend, ID 83629