Day Trips

Neal Mallard and his son Zachary at the Wimberley Pie Company offer the world something that everybody seems to enjoy -- homemade pies like grandma used to make.

In an old stone building that was first used as a gas station west of the Wimberley town square on TX12, the pie company currently offers 30 pies and cheesecakes on their menu. Don't be surprised if your favorite pie occasionally sells out. "We bake in small batches," Mallard says, "everything is made from scratch."

Mallard says it is not surprising that pecan pies are the biggest sellers since the majority of their wholesale customers are the area's barbecue restaurants. Besides pecan pies, the chocolate fudge and key lime pies are very popular with the 32 restaurants that carry their pies. Their strawberry cheesecake is an original invention of the pie company, devised for a local restaurant. "It is the only cheesecake that actually has strawberries in the filling that I know of," Mallard says.

Despite being in a small town, the retail trade is a significant part of his business, Mallard says. "It's kind of hard to just stumble upon Wimberley," he says. "It's not really on the road to anywhere else." He has had customers who have driven from Houston to buy a pie. Sunday and Monday afternoons are some of the busiest times at the tiny bakery as folks stop by on their way back home after spending the weekend in Wimberley.

Mallard and his wife bought the pie business in 1989. At the time it was more of a hobby in the back of a pizzeria. The Mallards took over the 10 pie recipes when the pizzeria closed. "We added and changed things, but kept the basic character of the pies," he says.

Whenever possible Mallard uses Texas ingredients in his pies. The pecans are Texas-grown. The apples for the dutch apple and sour cream apple pies come from Love Creek Orchard in Medina. He says the Hill Country-grown apples are the best he has found for baking.

The Wimberley Pie Company products are solid as a rock and twice as heavy. A slice of their pie or cheesecake can be a meal in itself -- they're not just for dessert anymore. Prices range from $20 for a fancy cheesecake to $9 for a buttermilk pie. "The buttermilk pie is very good, it's the name that turns a lot of people off," he says.

One of five children, Mallard says he has taken over the responsibility for bringing the desserts when his family gets together for holidays. "After seven years in the pie business I think I have convinced my mother that I know what I'm doing," he says. The Wimberley Pie Company is open 8am-5pm Mon.-Fri., 10am-5pm Sat., and noon-4pm Sun. For special orders, call 512/847-9462.

Coming up this weekend...

Watermelon Thump in Luling includes fun, food, and the world-championship seed-spitting contest, June 27-29.

Antique Machinery Exhibition at the Albert Meier Farm across from LBJ State Park in Stonewall shows the equipment in motion. June 29-30. 210/659-3742.

Bob Marley Festival presents the Wailers with local bands in concert at San Antonio's Sunken Gardens Amphitheater, noon-10pm, June 30. 210/733-5354.

Coming up...

"Africa" Exhibit at the Witte Museum in San Antonio tells the story of the continent and its people, through Sep.2. 210/820-2126.

Abendkonzerte translates to summer evening concerts of traditional German music every Tue. in July, 7:30-9pm performed by the Boerne Village Band at the Boerne Main Plaza. 210/249-8000.

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