On a calm Tuesday evening, I stroll into Four & Twenty Blackbirds. It’s 6:30 p.m. and the Brooklyn pie shop closes in half an hour; only two customers are left clicking on their computers and scraping up their last crumbs. A slight breeze comes through the window, gently rustling the sheer white curtains. Some members of the staff tidy up the shop while others knead new batches of pie dough. Four & Twenty Blackbirds is off the beaten path, and although it’s located on Gowanus’ bustling 3rd Avenue, I feel like I’m in the countryside. The painted tin walls and circulating ceiling fans lend the space a touch of charm, but the decor is simple enough that it doesn’t seem over thought.
Emily Elsen, who owns the shop with her younger sister Melissa, arrives to meet me–eager to talk about pie and its complexities. To make a really good, fresh pie, one has to consider the seasonal ingredients available, the flavor pairings in the filling, and what type of crust best suits the pie filling–both in ingredients and in form. Read More