- Virginia Johnson
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it seems like a good time to revisit the dessert possibilities. Of course, there would be mutiny if pumpkin pie weren’t involved, but have you considered the addition of Butter Rum Cream Pie or Bourbon Pear Crumble Pie? Or, how about taking traditions to the next level with Brown Butter Pumpkin Pie?
Two sisters from the Midwest gathered in Brooklyn and opened a first-rate pie shop. It seemed like the logical thing to do. Although they all had degrees in finance and the arts, a bust economy had them marshalling their resources as they found that sticking to a family tradition—they were at least the third generation to make a living from the kitchen—reaped delicious and tangible rewards.
In The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, the Elsen sisters share some of their best recipes with readers. These are rather unusual recipes and are broken into seasonal sections. The sisters share a strong belief that ingredients should be used during their natural season (peaches in the summer and strawberries in the spring) and preferably be locally sourced.
Besides the recipes, Emily and Melissa also include sections that will be helpful to any beginning pie-maker, including advice on tools and techniques. They have a separate section on pie crusts, so that the information doesn’t have to be repeated. Choices of crust include All-Butter Crust, Lard & Butter Crust (old-school, but considered by many to be the best), Animal Cracker Crumb Crust (perfect for all ages of children), Chocolate All-Butter Crust, Cornmeal Crust, Gingersnap Crumb Crust, Pistachio Coconut Crust, Pecan Biscotti Crust, Saltine Crust, Oat Crumble Topping & Crust, and Streusel Topping. That’s a pretty impressive list for the part of the pie most people overlook.
If you’d like to of add a new sparkle (Demerara sugar sparkles!) to your family gathering or a community covered-dish supper, The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book can help you serve a slice of something wonderful.
Take a visit to Four & Twenty Blackbirds with Saveur magazine. The first video is followed by a lesson from the sisters on how to make a perfect butter crust.