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At The Purple Pie Place, Where The Crusts Are Just Sweet Enough

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D.
Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D.

NPR is snacking its way around the country this summer, sampling a few delicacies that locals swear by and visitors want to find.

Today, pie is on the menu.

Bobkat's Purple Pie Place is a fixture in Custer, S.D. From chicken pot pie to strawberry rhubarb jalepeno, Trevor Yehlie and his family have been baking pies since 2009.

Customers hear that bumbleberry pie is the best on the menu — not from a bumbleberry bush but mixture of all the berries they use.

Yehlie's stepmother and a few helpers make 60-120 pies a day, he says.

The key to delicious pies? "The crust," he says. "The crust is the big thing — making sure it's not too sweet but just sweet enough."

He can't disclose the secret to the Purple Pie's crusts.

"That is a proprietary secret," Yehlie says. "I think only three people know the recipe ... and I ain't saying nothing!"

Yehlie's sister owned a restaurant down the street when the Purple Pie Place came up for sale, he explains. His family bought it in 2009, "and the rest has been very busy history," he says.

A few of the recipes, like the cream pies and the strawberry rhubarb jalepeno, are Yehlie family originals. The rest conveyed with the restaurant.

"They were a grandmother's recipe, but not mine," Yehlie says.

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