Boysenberry Pie at The Ahwahnee in Yosemite


The Ahwahnee has been serving Boysenberry Pie in Yosemite National Park for over 50 years! Boysenberries – a cross between raspberry and blackberry – make a delicious summer dessert pie especially when served with vanilla ice cream. If you can’t join us in Yosemite for pie this summer, we have included the recipe below. However, we think Boysenberry Pie tastes best when consumed with a view of Yosemite from The Ahwahnee Dining Room.

The Ahwahnee Boysenberry Pie

Makes: One 10” pie

Pie Filling
1 ½ lbs. Frozen Boysenberries
¾ C Sugar
1 ¼ oz Clear Instant Gelatin
Pinch of Salt

In a sauce pan on a low heat add frozen boysenberries and slowly cook for 5 minutes.  In a bowl combine sugar, gelatin and salt and mix.  Add sugar mixture to sauce pan.  Cook for another 5 minutes.  Stir often to avoid burning.  Set aside and let cool.

Pie Dough
9 oz Flour (AP Flour)
Pinch of Salt
1 ½ T Sugar
4 ½ oz Soft Butter
1 ½ oz Cold Water (very cold water)

In a food processor add flour, salt, sugar and softened butter.  Turn on and mix ingredients until they are evenly distributed.  Then add water all at once.  Turn off food processor as soon as the dough binds and comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Roll into a ball and refrigerate for one hour.  Roll out dough on counter top and form rolled out dough into 10 inch pie pan.  Preheat oven to 350’F and bake pie shell for 5 minutes.  Roll a top for a the pie and cover with a towel.  Place filling in shell and place top on pie egg washing the pie rim to seal.  Cut 4 slit in the top of the pie and egg wash the top.  Place in the 350’F and bake until golden brown (around 15 to 20 min).  Cool and serve.

The Sesquicentini Cocktail at The Ahwahnee Bar

The Sesquicentini Limited Edition Cocktail at The Ahwahnee

The Sesquicentini Limited Edition Cocktail at The Ahwahnee

We’re celebrating in Yosemite! This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act, the first piece of legislation in history to set aside public lands for all citizens. Signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Yosemite Valley were preserved as public lands for Americans by the Yosemite Grant for all time. This historic act led to the creation of national parks, known as “America’s Best Idea.” In honor of this 150th anniversary – a sesquicentennial – we have created the Sesquicentini cocktail at The Ahwahnee. If you can’t celebrate with us in the park this year, you’ll find the recipe below. Wherever you are, we hope you will raise a glass to toast the Yosemite Grant Anniversary and one of America’s greatest legacies.

In a martini shaker over ice add:

  • 2 shots Beefeater Gin
  • 1 shot Monin Lavender Syrup
  • 1 shot lemon juice
  • Shake and pour in a chilled martini glass
  • Add a splash of Club Soda
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel

If you can join us for the celebration, consider reserving the Yosemite Grant 150th Anniversary Experience at The Ahwahnee, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, Curry Village or Wawona Hotel. This package includes lodging in Yosemite, Yosemite Grant souvenirs and tickets for the Valley Floor Tour.

The Firefall Cocktail at The Ahwahnee Bar

The Firefall Cocktail served at The Ahwahnee Bar

The Firefall Cocktail served at The Ahwahnee Bar

For a few weeks each year in February, if the water is flowing in Horsetail Fall, photographers and park visitors gather at sunset for an amazing natural display.  The ‘natural firefall’ appears when the angle of the winter sun strikes the flowing water of the waterfall at sunset, making it appear to glow with reds and oranges, like fire cascading down the cliffs on the shoulder of El Capitan. This natural phenomenon is referred to as a ‘firefall’ in Yosemite due to the fact that an actual fire fall occurred in the park every summer when a bonfire built on top of Glacier Point was pushed over the edge to create a spectacular light show for the park visitors below at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley. Though the actual Yosemite Firefall was discontinued in 1968, park visitors can still witness the same type of breathtaking display at Horsetail Fall. Celebrate Yosemite’s Firefall in all its forms with this cocktail at The Ahwahnee Bar – sure to warm you up on a winter’s evening!

1/2 shot tequila (we prefer Sauza Gold)
1/2 shot Creme de Cocoa Brown (we prefer DeKuyper)
2 Tablespoons Firefall Hot Chocolate Mix, see recipe below

2 Cups Nestle Hot Chocolate Powder
1 Tablespoon pasilla chili powder
1 Tablespoon cinnamon

Pour tequila and Creme de Cocoa Brown into an Irish Coffee Mug
Add the Firefall Hot Chocolate Mix
Add boiling water and stir well
Top with whipped creme
Sprinkle whipped creme with pasilla chili and cinnamon

Horsetail Fall at sunset on February 13, 2014. Photo by Chris Falkenstein.

Horsetail Fall at sunset on February 13, 2014. Photo by Chris Falkenstein.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding from The Ahwahnee

Photo by Brett Archer

Photo by Brett Archer

This dessert from Chef Paul Padua is one of the most popular on The Ahwahnee’s Dining Room menu.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding from The Ahwahnee Dining Room

1 quart heavy whipping cream
2 pieces vanilla beans pod (split and scraped)
8 ounces granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
7 pieces egg yolk
2 pieces large croissants (baked and sliced crosswise)
2 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 ounces dark chocolate chips

1.In a stainless mixing bowl, incorporate the egg yolk, ground cinnamon, sugar and a cup of heavy whipping cream
2.Split and scrape the seed of the vanilla pods
3.Place pods and beans in a sauce pot and the remaining heavy whipping cream and bring to a boil
4.Pour the hot cream into the egg mixture and stir
5.Arrange half of the croissant slices in a baking dish
6.Sprinkle half of the milk and dark chocolate chips over the croissants
7.Pour half of the hot custard mixture over the croissants to soak.
8.Repeat the layers
9.Bake at 320 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes