NOTE: I just spent half an hour trying to upload the pictures for this post, with no luck. Blogger seems to be uncooperative this morning. I will try again later, but until then, here is the text.
When we first started to vacation at Pinecrest Lake our children were small and needed periodic breaks from sitting in the car (and I could only take so much Raffi on the stereo). Over the years we have found parks, rivers, vegetable stands, and other waystations to make the journey more enjoyable. One longstanding stop, always on our agenda, is Bloomingcamp Ranch located outside of Oakdale on Highway 120.
What first attracted us to Bloomingcamp was the big roadside signs for their famous pies. But it is so much more than that. The 110-acre farm includes acres and acres of fruit orchards, a big red barn structure which serves as the bakery, a beautiful pond and green grass picnic area (which also serves as the location of many a wedding), and roaming geese, ducks, and swans.
It is our usual habit to stop in both on the way up to Pinecrest Lake and on the way home (yes, it is just that good!). On our way up, we park and go in to purchase a whole pie to take with us, and a variety of treats to eat out on their tree-shaded deck. Normally we buy the Dutch Apple Pie, which is our very favorite, mounded high and covered in a sweet crumbly topping. Also available on any given day depending on the harvest is peach, apple, berry, apricot, and several other scrumptious flavors.
For noshing out in the garden or at a picnic table near the pond, they have slices of all their pies available, apple blossoms, fruit turnovers in 4 varieties, huge cookies, as well as fresh fruit, and cider pressed on the premises. As an added bonus, they sell food so that you can feed the ducks and geese down by the pond. That always gave the kids free rein to romp around on the grass, stick their toes in the water, and be chased by the occasional nasty goose (beware!)
This year we splurged and got both a Dutch Apple and a Peach and we were not disappointed. Fresh, with a moist flavorful filling of fresh fruit, and a very tasty crust, we found they are good for both dessert and breakfast (I can get a bit lazy on vacation).
So if you are in the vicinity, make sure to stop by and enjoy a slice.
Bloomingcamp Ranch and Bake Shop
10528 Highway 120
Oakdale, CA 95361
www.bloomingcamp.com (website is not functioning at this time)