Amanda, her parents, three brothers and a baby sister arrive in California during the Gold Rush. Besides a few cabins like theirs, the small town consists of a stagecoach stop and a pump house. While Pa spends a week at a time in the gold fields, Amanda and her siblings grow bored. Amanda has a hankering for pie and asks Ma if she can make one. Ma agrees pie would be tasty, but she has no pie pans and only a wood stove.
Amanda decides to try anyway. After several unsuccessful attempts, she learns to create wonderful pies in the skillet. They’re so good, Pa starts taking them to the gold fields and selling them to the miners. Word of Amanda’s pies spreads, and soon they are in great demand. Her brothers build shelves for her and make a sign that reads “Amanda’s Fine Pies.” Her siblings help collect berries and apples.
A peddler comes to town and Amanda uses some of her earnings to buy pie pans. She suggests the peddler could open his own shop in town, and he takes her advice. More and more people come to town and see opportunities to start their own stores. Amanda convinces one cowboy to open a laundry and another to start a livery stable.
As families begin to move in, Amanda remembers a teacher named Miss Camilla she met on the stagecoach. She urges Miss Camilla and her new preacher husband to move to town. They start a church and school. Pa realizes there’s little money to be made in the gold fields. He asks Amanda if he can go into business with her. Soon, Pa takes over the pie business so Amanda can go to school. Amanda is excited to live in the center of an exciting, bustling boom town.