Despite the recent craze for cupcakes, pies have always remained the humble, much-loved staple. Crumbs and Magnolia might have the name recognition, but in Brooklyn, N.Y., locals have flocked to Four & Twenty Blackbirds for a cup of coffee and a slice or two of crumbly, buttery pies.
Naturally, sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen decided to document their self-taught practices in a cookbook, out Oct. 29, 2013, just in time for the holiday season. And while their unconventional fillings (think paprika peach or green chile chocolate) may be the initial draw, as many pie lovers know, a great pie filling isn’t quite as delicious without a great crust.
"A mutual passion for executing the perfect pie crust was probably what truly started us on our journey into pie-making," the sisters write in the cookbook. The classic all-butter crust has the perfect amount of cider vinegar for tenderness and tang, while an oat crumble crust and topper works perfectly with juicy fruits. "The bourbon pear pie is excellent with lattice," Emily Elsen told The Daily Meal, "but with crumble, it’s amazing. The pear is so juicy, so the oat toppings soak up the juices in the fruit."
Of course, it’s not always about what type of crust works best with what filling (although Emily is partial to custard pies with a crumb crust, like pecan, saltine, or animal cracker crusts). Instead, it’s about mixing and matching, and experimentation. While streusels and crumbles work beautifully with juicy fruits, it doesn’t mean an apple crumble won’t be equally delicious. "The point is to look at the book and think, 'maybe I can try it like this, or try that on top of a full-sized pie, with different toppings and working with different things,'" Elsen said. "It’s about experimentation and having fun."
To help you out with your holiday experimentation, Elsen shares three recipes to get you started on your holiday baking. First off, their all-butter crust, the classic, malleable crust that works with custards, fruits, and nuts. Second, the Four & Twenty Blackbirds oat crumble, which can be pressed into a crust or used to top any pies. Finally, the salted caramel apple pie, an undisputed classic and bound to be a hit any season.
And next up for the pie sisters? "Maybe a savory pie book and more crust technique," Elsen said. "We decided to focus on our sweet pies, because that’s what we began with, but we love savory pies and we have a whole bunch of ideas."
Recipes From The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book:
All-Butter Crust Recipe
Oat Crumble Topping & Crust
Salted Caramel Apple Pie
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Strawberry Balsamic Pie-Famous Fridays
Prep Time: For the crust: 15 minutes (plus at least 1 hour of chilling), For the Filling: 30 minutes for strawberries to macerate, plus another 15 minutes to put rest of ingredients together Assembly Time: 30 minutes (plus time for dough to chill) Bake Time: About 1 hour
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and refrigerated until ready to use
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup ice
For the Strawberry Balsamic Filling
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed and quartered
- 1 small baking apple (I used Golden Delicious)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons ground arrowroot
- 2 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
- Demerara sugar, for sprinkling on crust right before baking
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter cubes and using a rubber spatula, coat them with the flour mixture gently. Now use a pastry blender and cut the butter into the flour mixture, working fairly quickly until you mostly have pea-sized pieces of butter. If some of the pieces are a bit larger, that's ok--you don't want to over-mix.
2. In a large measuring cup, combine the water, vinegar and ice. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and toss it with a rubber spatula until it is fully incorporated. Continue to add more of the ice water mixture, about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, and mix with either the spatula or your hands until the dough comes together in a ball. If there is some floury mix at the bottom of the bowl, add a few more drops of water to that and then add it to the large ball once it's been incorporated. Squeeze the dough with your fingers to make sure it's all well combined. Divide the dough in half, flatten each piece into a disc, wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
3. Flour a wooden board and a rolling pin. Remove 1 disc from the refrigerator and roll out to about a 12 inch circle, rolling from the center of the dough and lifting and turning by degrees so that you get a fairly uniform circle and so that dough isn't sticking to the board. Fold the dough in half carefully and transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. Unfold the dough and push gently into the pan, being careful not to stretch or pull at the dough. Trim the edges and crimp the dough as you like. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
4. Remove the other piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a 12 inch circle as well. Trim the edges so that the ends are squared off. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 8 equal strips of dough and transfer to a parchment lined sheet to chill. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill while you prepare the filling.
For the Strawberry Balsamic Filling
5. Place the quartered berries into a medium bowl and sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of sugar. Stir gently and let stand, stirring every so often, for about 30 minutes to 1 hour until berries have softened and released a lot of their juices.
6. Peel the apple and shred on a box grater, using the large holes. Drain the strawberries of the excess liquid and combine them with the shredded apple in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar and toss gently.
7. Into another bowl, place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, arrowroot, black pepper and salt and mix well. Fold the dry mixture into the berry mixture and pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell. Now arrange the chilled strips across the top, lattice style (there's a great pictorial of this in the cookbook--here's a link you can look at to understand the process: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_a_lattice_top_for_a_pie_crust/). Now chill the pie for 10-15 minutes to help set the pastry.
8. Place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven (believe me, this pie is very juicy and you will thank me!) and preheat oven to 425ºF. Brush the pie with the egg wash and be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry as you do this or it will burn. Sprinkle with a generous amount of the demerara sugar.
9. Place pie on the baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is set and beginning to brown. Reduce the oven temp to 375ºF and move the pie to the center oven rack. Bake for another 35-40 minutes until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
10. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for 2-3 hours (yes, I know it's hard to wait, but this pie is so juicy it will completely fall apart if you don't). Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. It's even more amazing with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.
11. If there are any leftovers, pie keeps covered and chilled for 3 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book by Melissa and Emily Elsen. I pretty much followed their recipe but left out 2 dashes of Angostura bitters from the strawberry mixture because I didn't have it in the house. Add it in when you add the balsamic vinegar if you like.
Bourbon-Sweet Potato Pie Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
In our October issue we list the Top 10 Best Places for Pie in America. Get a taste of our picks as we break down these bakers' skills and publish pie recipes from each spot that would share their secrets. By the end of this blog series, making pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving will seem like a piece of. pie?
Our fifth pie in this series comes from Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn, New York. Classic flavors and inventive creations spring up at this destination-worthy shop in the up-and-coming Gowanus neighborhood. We've got the recipe for one of its most popular flavors, the Bourbon-Sweet Potato Pie!
Bourbon-Sweet Potato Pie
by Melissa and Emily Elsen, Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Note: This recipe has not been tested in or styled by the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen.
For Crust (makes enough dough for 2 pies)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus more for greasing
8–10 tablespoons ice water with cider vinegar (combine 1 cup cold water, 1/8 cup cider vinegar, and ice)
2 cups sweet potato purée (either fresh or canned)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram (if not available, add 1 tablespoon more bourbon and a pinch of allspice)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (for serving)
Whisk flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and toss to coat with a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour, working quickly, until mostly pea-sized pieces of butter remain.
Sprinkle 4 Tbsp. water mixture over flour mixture, then mix with spatula until water is fully incorporated. Add more water, 1–2 Tbsp. at a time, and mix until dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.Squeeze and pinch lightly with your fingertips to bring dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more drops of ice water if necessary to combine.
Divide dough in half and shape into 2 flat discs. Wrap discs in plastic and chill at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight to give the crust time to mellow.
Roll out 1 disk on lightly floured surface to a 12" round. Transfer to 9-inch pie dish that has been lightly greased with unsalted butter.
Crimp edges of crust with your fingers. Chill 20 minutes or freeze 10 minutes.
Do Ahead: Dough can be made 3 days ahead wrap tightly and chill, or freeze up to 1 month.
Preheat oven to 400°. Line crust in pie dish with layer of foil or baking parchment (do not use wax paper). Be certain that foil lines all of shell and covers crimped edge. Do not press down hard on crimped edge or foil will bake into crust. Pour pie weights or dry beans into lined pastry shell.
Bake crust until set but not overly browned, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil/parchment and weights/beans. Return crust to oven and bake 5 minutes. Let cool.
Mix sweet potato purée and butter in a large bowl. Whisk eggs, egg yolks, brown sugar, granulated sugar, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add cream, bourbon, allspice dram, and vanilla.
Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and whisk lightly to combine. (Don't overwhisk or it will create bubbles.)
Preheat oven to 350°. Transfer pie shell to a rimmed baking sheet pour filling into shell. Bake pie until edges are set but center slightly wobbles, about 45 minutes.
Let cool at room temperature before slicing. Sprinkle each slice with powdered sugar just before serving.
GET THE RECIPE: Bourbon-Sweet Potato Pie (click to get a printer-friendly PDF of the recipe)
Four & Twenty Blackbirds Salty Honey Pie Recipe
The Salty Honey Pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn is a thing of beauty. Made with an all-butter crust and filled with butter, sugar, cream, and honey, it’s hard to forget this iconic New York City Pie. The touch of flaky sea salt on top is the perfect accompaniment to the rich, full-flavored pie. One bite and you’ll be head over heels– It’s no wonder we named this family-owned pie shop the best in NYC.
The ladies at Four & Twenty Blackbirds have graciously allowed us to share their Four & Twenty Blackbirds Salty Honey Pie Recipe from their cookbook (which you definitely need a copy of btw). If you want to enjoy your pie in the early evening, start mid-morning so you have plenty of time for each portion of the pie-making process.
You’ll start by making the all-butter crust. Refrigerate, then freeze before you make the filling. The filling comes together very easily, and the pie bakes in less than an hour. The hardest part is no doubt waiting 2-3 hours before eating, but it’s well worth your patience from the very first bite.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds is currently doing pickup, next day delivery throughout the city, and local Brooklyn delivery is available with Grubhub, Seamless, Caviar, and Doordash.
Buttermilk chess pie is the last pie I’ll be making from the “Winter” section of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book (by Emily and Melissa Elsen Grand Central Life & Style, 2013 p. 203) — at least until next winter, anyway. Chess pie is a new thing for me it’s supposed to be a Southern thing, and despite being a Southerner by birth, I haven’t lived there since the age of four and have no recollection of this sort of pie. The Wikipedia article is no help, either it describes some of the things that can be in chess pie, and some other pies that are like chess pie, but doesn’t actually say what it tastes like, or even what its texture is like.
I can answer that question now: chess pie — this chess pie, at any rate — tastes like a really light cheesecake, with a custardy texture but on a pastry, rather than crumb, crust. This is how I did it:
Other than the pie crust (about which more in a sec), the only thing I left out of my mise en place photo this time was the flour, of which there’s only a tablespoon so I didn’t feel the need to pre-measure. (There’s also some salt you can see my salt cellar hiding behind the eggs!) There really are only eleven ingredients, although the process by which they’re assembled is a bit complicated. The sweetener here is regular granulated sugar — the organic sugar I buy is a little bit brownish by nature.
The Elsens’ recipe calls for their “Cornmeal Crust”, which is a simple variation of their “All-Butter Crust” which I’ve covered here previously at length. The only difference is the substitution of some cornmeal for a small amount of the flour the procedure and blind-baking are the same. As is usually the case for a custard pie like this, the crust is partially blind-baked a fully baked crust would overbrown during the long baking time required to cook a custard filling all the way through.
The pie filling starts with a fairly substantial amount (3½ oz) of melted butter, which is allowed to cool while the dry ingredients — a cup of sugar, a tablespoon of flour, cinnamon, and salt — are whisked together.
The melted butter is then mixed into the dry ingredients. Since the large mixing bowl was cool, the butter set up almost as soon as I stopped stirring it. The vanilla paste is also mixed in at this point.
Two thirds of a cup of sour cream (I used Axelrod brand rather than my usual favorite Wallaby) is stirred into the butter mixture — in my case this took a bit of effort to break up the lumps of solidified butter-sugar mixture.
Now, following the usual custard procedure, the eggs are mixed in, one at a time, lightening the mixture considerably.
Finally, the acid ingredients, buttermilk and vinegar, are stirred in to make the final pie filling. Actually, I forgot a step — in theory, the filling is supposed to be strained at this point, to remove any lumps, bits of chalaza, or curdled egg, but I neglected to do this and just poured the filling directly into the prepared crust. No ill effects were apparent from this mistake.
This pie is baked at a fairly low temperature — 325°F (165°C) — for about 50 minutes. Like any egg custard, the filling expands substantially when it cooks I took this photo not to show you how dirty my oven is, but to demonstrate how high the filling rises over the edge of the crust by the time it’s ready to remove from the oven. It will sink back down as it cools. (And keep in mind that foods keep cooking after they are removed from the oven, so if you leave a custard pie in the oven until the filling is completely solid, it will be overcooked by the time you are actually ready to eat it!)
I followed the hint in the recipe’s sidebar and sprinkled some sugar and cinnamon on top late in the baking time, which accounts for the extra color.
The pie has only been out of the oven for a few minutes, and you can see that the filling has already deflated quite a bit. In the background, the cookie jar has my leftover brownies (the ones I didn’t want to bring to work — all the ones I brought to work got eaten).
After three hours, the pie is fully cooled and ready to go into the refrigerator. (Or rather, the pie is fully cooled but I was not ready to eat any yet!) Because all-butter pie crusts have a tendency to leak melted butter in the oven, I keep the pie plate on a paper towel to avoid leaving a mess behind on the cooling rack — or in the fridge.
OK, it’s the following day, and I’m ready for some pie! This is a new experience for me all the other pies I’ve made from this cookbook I’ve started with at least some notion of what they should taste like. The recipe headnote says “serves 8 to 10”, as usual, but for once I actually agree. I hadn’t yet done the nutrition computations when I portioned it out, however, so I stuck with my standard 12 slices. This also ends up working out better for when I bring the rest of the pie in to work — my co-workers seem to have a thing for wanting even less than what I would consider a proper serving.
The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
Emily and Melissa Elsen's first book of pie recipes The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop was released in October of 2013 and has received international critical praise and sold over 35,000 copies worldwide. It has been translated to the French by Marabout and Swedish by Natur & Kultur.
Named “Artisans of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011, their pies have received critical praise and have been featured in a variety of international food media including the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Good Morning America, Oprah and New York Magazine.
From 2016 to 2018, the sisters have participated in the annual Hankyu "New York Fair" in Osaka, Japan. Their Salted Caramel Apple Pie has consistently been the best selling featured dessert item at the event.
Hear the Elsen sisters describe how their family's work ethic and grandmother's handmade pie recipes inspired them to open their pie shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds. Cultural Kitchen is a featured series on Tasted.com that explores modern food and the chefs who make it, while showcasing the culture that inspired the plate.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie: An Illustrated History
Though there are a few days that claim to be THE “Day of Pie” — the U.S. House of Representatives recognized “Pi Day” on March 14th, and a second somewhat dubiously decreed “National Pie Day” on December 1st — according to the American Pie Council, today, January 23rd, is the actual “National Pie Day.” It was probably chosen so that people have at least one thing to look forward to after the pie-promises of Thanksgiving and Christmas have faded, and you’re left cold and hungry in the depths of mid-winter.
In honor, of this, we present an illustrated investigation and recipe of the legendary 4 and 20 Blackbirds Pie.
We all know the nursery rhyme, “Sing A Song of Sixpence,” from the classic Mother Goose. This is the first verse of the rhyme as it first appeared in print in the mid-1700s:
Sing a Song of Sixpence,
A bag full of Rye,
Four and twenty
Bak’d in a Pye.
In its subsequent publication in 1780, these additional verses were added and the “naughty boys” were replaced by blackbirds:
When the pie was opened,
The birds began to sing
Was not that a dainty dish,
To set before the king?
The king was in his counting-house,
Counting out his money
The queen was in the parlor,
Eating bread and honey.
The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes
There came a blackbird
And snapped off her nose.
It’s entirely unclear how those twenty-four devious boys all turned themselves into blackbirds, but one cannot know the ways of the devil. We do know that somehow they managed to and are thus transformed for the rest of all history. Though “four and twenty” may seem a random number to us now, it is actually the most frequently appearing number in Mother Goose, representing perhaps 24 hours in a day, or a double dozen, 12 being a fabled number in religion and mythology. “A bag full [of Rye]” may have been an actual culinary measurement, like the teaspoon and tablespoon of today. And though there’s no rye mentioned, blackbirds inside a pie could be a reference to this recipe containing live birds, from the 1549 Italian cookbook Epulario or The Italian Banquet by Giovanni de Roselli, translated into English in 1598:
TO MAKE PIE THAT THE BIRDS MAY BE ALIVE IN THEM, AND FLIE OUT WHEN IT IS CUT UP
Make the coffin of a great Pie or pasty. in the bottome whereof make a hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will. let the sides of the coffin be some what higher then ordinary Pie, which dome. put is full of flower and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome and take out the flower [flour]. then having a Pie of the bignesse of the hole in the bottome of the coffin aforesaid. you shal put it into the coffin, withall put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid pie as many small live birds as the empty coffin will hold besides the pie aforesaid. And this is to be done at such time as you send the Pie to the table, and set before the guests: where uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great Pie, all the Birds will flie out. which is to the delight and pleasure shew to the company and because they shall not bee altogether mocked, you shall cut open the small pie and in this sort tart you may make many others, the like you may do with a Tart.
This type of surprise pie, or “coffin” as they were called, actually existed and was related to a genre of Medieval food called solteties which used illusions in sugar (sound familiar?) and other stunts to impress guests. The live bird pie is later referred to in 1723 by John Nott, cook to the Duke of Bolton, as an antiquated practice with the aim that the birds in flight would extinguish the candles lighting the dining hall and create “a diverting Hurley-Burley amongst the Guests in the Dark!”
Though this sort of wild Hurley-Burley sounds like the makings for a perfect Saturday night, it may not currently be culturally acceptable to insert live birds into desserts as aforesaid. In lieu of sending you on a wild pigeon chase, here are some ways you can put a bird on it in the modern day:
— DO use a pie bird! A ceramic funnel, usually in the shape of a bird, which you insert in the middle of a pie to let steam and juices escape.
— DO create birds out of paper or modeling clay, attach them to skewers and insert them into the pie.
— DO cut bird silhouettes out of paper and place them on the pie crust, then dust the entire crust with powdered sugar, letting only the bird shapes remain un-sugared.
— DO (if you dare) make a Stargazy Quail Pie. WARNING: Not for vegetarians or the faint of heart.
— DON’T mold blackbirds out of pie crust dough and bake them in the pie. You will end up with deranged Calvin and Hobbes snowmen-type figures (the 24 naughty boys return!) when the butter melts.
Emily and Elizabeth created the book PIE: A Hand Drawn Almanac, which contains recipes and illustrations of actually edible pies. None of them contain real live birds, but you could eat any of them in the dark, for a diverting Hurley-Burley.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Pie
A classic pecan pie made irresistible with the addition of a bottom layer of smooth dark chocolate ganache.
Founded in 2009 by sisters and pie makers Melissa and Emily Elsen in Brooklyn, New York, Four & Twenty Blackbirds easily makes some of the best pies in Brooklyn and in the U.S. Their signature pies include Salted Caramel Apple Pie and Salty Honey Pie. They’ve been listed on Travel & Leisure’s “America’s Best Pies” and earned immense praise from renowned food experts, including restaurateur Danny Meyer and Food Network’s Bobby Flay.
Each pie is 9.5" round and serves 8-10 people
Pecans, brown sugar, 72% chocolate, heavy cream, unsalted butter, eggs, dark corn syrup, vanilla extract, cider vinegar, kosher salt, ground ginger Made with All-Butter Crust (unsalted butter, all-purpose unbleached wheat flour, granulated sugar, kosher salt, water, cider vinegar)
Produced in a facility with wheat, milk, eggs, tree nuts and peanuts.
- Pies are baked fresh, frozen and shipped with ice packs which may thaw partially or fully during transit
- Upon arrival, place at room temperature or in the refrigerator if serving later
- Pies can be kept at room temperature for 24 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
- Serve at room temperature or warm in a 250F preheated oven for 10-15 minutes
- Four & Twenty Blackbirds ships Monday – Friday of each week
- Orders cannot be shipped to P.O. Boxes
- Orders shipped to Alaska and Hawaii via 2-day will incur an additional $20 charge or $35 for Overnight Shipping. Sorry guys!
- Have more questions about Shipping? Read our Shipping FAQ page.
You can send this item to up to 15 different addresses using our regular checkout. Looking to send this item to more than 15 people? Have our Corporate Gifting Team assist you.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Sisters and partners-in-pie, Emily and Melissa Elsen are cut from the same crust. Their Brooklyn pie flagship, which now has four satellite locations around the city, is named after a nursery rhyme, “Sing a Song of Six Pence”—a fitting name, since the sisters were around nursery-age when they first learned the craft from their Grandma Liz. In other words, “We grew up in the business,” Emily says. Grandma Liz would bake pies for their mother’s popular local restaurant in South Dakota using whatever fruit was in season, and they’re keeping the tradition alive. The result? Hard-to-rival golden-crusted masterpieces, from the more creative matcha custard to classics like lemon chess.
The sisters’ shop in Gowanus, which opened in 2009, has grown a cultish following and earned international praise. The Elsens were named “Artisans of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011, and their pies have been featured on Oprah and in the New York Times.
Out of all the desserts out there, why pie? “Cake is kind of specific to a celebration…to me, pie is any time of day, it’s casual, it’s homey, it’s rustic,” Emily explains. “We felt there was potential for it.” Pie that lives up to that potential requires the best ingredients, which is why in our pie-baking class, the Elsen sisters aim for the sweetest cherries to sprinkle with streusel and the juiciest peaches to blanket with their signature pinwheel-design crust. Combined with a few key spices like nutmeg and Angostura bitters (their secret ingredient!), those fruit flavors truly sing. Another reason these pies are special? The Elsens mix their rich, flaky crust by hand. As they demonstrate in our pie-baking class, hands, not blades, are the best tool for sensing the right texture and temperature for framing fillings and weaving lattices.
When you bake with Melissa and Emily, you’ll discover why pie tastes best when it’s homemade: because pie is more than a baked good, it’s both an act of love and a work of art. You’ll learn everything from crimping crust to storing leftover pie properly. (The eating, we trust, you won't need any help with!)