Guest Editors

A Week's Worth of Pie with Four & Twenty Blackbirds

By • November 15, 2013 • 61 Comments

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For #PieWeek, our guest editors are Emily and Melissa Elsen, the pie mavens behind Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn, NY. They will be sharing recipes all week from their first cookbook, and giving away a copy each day!

Today: Pie Week was fun -- good thing the Holidays are around the corner. Don't forget: Today's your last chance to win a copy of the new pie bible.

It's hard not to bring a smile to someone's face when serving up a slice of homemade pie. Thanks to the new Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook, we have the power to recreate the feeling in our kitchens, with confidence. This week, our guest editors reminded us that getting a little creative, staying seasonal, and mixing some love into your dough is the best way to come out on top of the pie game. 

More: 6 Ways to Fancy Up Your Pies

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie on Food52 


All-Butter Crust

All Butter Crust on Food52

More: Another foolproof pie crust, from America's Test Kitchen.

Cranberry Sage Pie

Cranberry Sage Pie on Food52


Lemon Chess Pie

Lemon Chess Pie on Food52 

Photo by Gentl & Hyers

We're giving away one last copy of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, tell us in the comments: What do you love most about pie? (Unfortunately, we can only ship domestically.)

Jump to Comments (61)

Tags: pie week, cranberry, sage, oatmeal, pie, lemon

Comments (61)


about 1 year ago Sarah

I love pie because it's the first real food I made. I spent a summer in college getting my heart broken in the middle of nowhere, far away from friends and family. I didn't know how to make anything at the start, but, needing something to do, I learned to make pie. It was simple and forgiving and its flexibility allowed me to make either dinner or dessert. It made me feel like I knew what I was doing; it got me through.


about 1 year ago Kelsey

A great piece of pie is to be savored and takes you to a place of comfort. After indulging you just feel perfectly satiated. Pie is the ultimate in happiness :)


over 1 year ago Michelle Johnson

I Love Pie because it reminds me of my Grandmother. Our Family would fight over the last piece of her Melloscotch Meringue Pie every Holiday. I was fortunate enough to make a rendition of her Melloscotch Pie for her to try. She was 92


over 1 year ago Lark

The best pies I've eaten were in Germany and now when I make or eat pie, I feel sentimental about that country where I once lived.


over 1 year ago Heather

butter. the best pie crusts are the butteriest ones. and lets face it, savory or sweet, everything is better with butter as its base.


over 1 year ago Zoe

I love pie because, like creating a work of art, I can feel totally and utterly content when my work is done. The process is just as satisfying as the finished pie. From cutting in the butter, to brushing egg yoke onto the top crust... All of it is pure poetry! And even if it doesn't look perfect, it somehow always tastes perfect. :)


over 1 year ago kkajewski

Whatever the occasion a pie will suit. A pie can be sweet or savory. There's nothing better than a chicken pot pie on a chilly night. The smell fills the senses as well as the belly. Yet, come summertime when the stone fruit ripens a creamy caramelized nectarine pie is the talk of the neighborhood BBQ.
Every culture has their form of pies. They may be known by a different name but they are pies all the same. Large or small- I'll eat them all! :o)


over 1 year ago SoVery

Sharing it with someone you love!


over 1 year ago Jamie Dunn

I love the crust and contrasting that with the inside! Plus the creativity and variety you get to put into the filling.


over 1 year ago taste area

the crustiness of the crust combined with the gooeyness/creaminess/juiciness of the filling!


over 1 year ago Andshewas

I love the versatility of pie. Creamy/Fruity. Sweet/Savory. I love that even people who aren't dessert-people like pie. Pies and tarts are "cook's desserts". As opposed to cake, bringing a pie doesn't seem like you're trying to hard. ;)


over 1 year ago Michele C.

making up a pie and seeing how pleased my guests are to get to enjoy a classic dessert!


over 1 year ago Lela Dougal

There are hundreds of desserts, but pie is the most delicious of all..there is something special about a pie and can be used for any time of meal..fancy or simple fare. Everyone likes pie!


over 1 year ago Shack

I love the perfect crust to filling ratio, the satisfaction when an apple pie come out bubbling and brown, the thanksgiving smell that fills my house as my pies bake, and that I can eat pumpkin pie for breakfast the next day!


over 1 year ago Angela

question: what is the pie that is the preview image for the "Everything You Need to Make the Perfect Pie" article?


over 1 year ago Daisy

I love how versatile pie is! It can be made with fruity, sweet, or savory fillings.


over 1 year ago Boulder Butter

My favorite part of pie is eating it the next morning as leftovers with a strong cup of coffee!


over 1 year ago Lil Rinaldi

I love all the varieties that you can make, sweet or savory!


over 1 year ago Sean

The crust.


over 1 year ago chrissyb

I like that you can put cream on fruit pies & whipped cream on pecan or pumpkin pies.


over 1 year ago 3liz4

I love making and eating pie. The perfect crust is essential but the filling has to be right as well. And I love all kinds of pie, there's always a pie for every season


over 1 year ago missfats

I love just how down-home and rustic a pie eating experience can be. Pie seems to naturally resist anything too fussy in favor of classic and simple preparations and presentations.


over 1 year ago cookinginvictoria

I love the process and yes, the challenge of making pie -- hoping that my dough is the right consistency and that I can roll it thin enough and get it into the pie pan without it cracking! I love how I can take fresh fruit or custard and magically transform it into a heavenly filling that tastes like the essence of summer or fall. But most of all I love pie because making one reminds me of my grandmother, who made the most delicious peach pie (I have inherited her pie plate, which is one of my most cherished kitchen possessions) and my mother whose rhubarb and sour cherry pies are almost too beautiful to eat and whose pie crust is absolute perfection.


over 1 year ago Tenaya

I do love eating pie. But the part I enjoy the most is making it and then sharing it with anyone I possibly can. Pie just always seems to make people happy.


over 1 year ago Rinchen

Some of the best parts of my life have pie connections. Pie reminds me of my childhood and my family. After a year trekking around Asia, the pie shops in Kathmandu lifted my spirits. Pie is everything.


over 1 year ago mikomiao

crust is my favorite parts about pie.


over 1 year ago HelloMyNamesJen

What's NOT to love??! Most of all, though, the moment your crust is done and you get to fill it with goodness!!


over 1 year ago Ellejayp

I love two crust pies and cutting intricate designs into the top crust for the venting.


over 1 year ago Meghan

Sometimes, when it comes to pie, it’s not about the ultimate taste, but more so the process, idea, and love pressed into the layers of ingredients. The physical act of kneading dough; the feel of cold, hard butter and coarse sugar meshed between your fingers; the innate repetition of rolling, working, pressing so that a familiar, quiet ache starts to form in the hollows of your bones; the gentle roll of simmering fruit or the timely thickening of custards and curds; the aroma that perfumes from the oven door as all of your work bakes and bubbles together into one beautiful, golden composition that will later be cherished and savored by a gathering of the ones you hold dearest. I love the coming together of friends and family to enjoy almost as much as the coming together of ingredients, and the coming together of my own self and mind that can only be secured between the flaked crusts, seasonal filling, and sappy (but cherished) superfluities of a good, soulful pie.


over 1 year ago laci scott

i love the act of *making* pie. the rolling, the baking, the praying your crust doesn't fall off in the oven...


over 1 year ago Victoria Shank

I love that pie is such a beautiful dish that is also fabulously delicious and comforting!


over 1 year ago bridgetbakes

pie! pie! me oh my! making pies is the ultimate kitchen therapy - working with dough, choosing a filing and topping it all off with ice cream or whipped cream. Pie is like the cooler, less formal cousin of cake


over 1 year ago Georgina

Savory or sweet, making pie keeps alive the countless memories of working side by side with my grandmother at her kitchen table to roll out the dough--a tradition we started when I was four :)


over 1 year ago Kathryn

Hmm. I think my favorite part about pie is getting to eat it cold for breakfast the day after baking ;)


over 1 year ago Eliz.

Favorite thing about pie is that its ties to produce. Pie is an excuse for bringing home too many peaches or rhubarb stalks from the farmers market.


over 1 year ago natwhat

All the options! And the flaky crust....


over 1 year ago sarabclever

Has to be the contrast of buttery shattering crust against a soft sweet filling! Xing fingers on this giveaway!


over 1 year ago summersavory

Baking pies lets me spend time with my family-my sister and I often bake together in the summers, and not only do we get to hang out in the kitchen for a while, in the end we get to eat pie! win-win situation right there.


over 1 year ago Laura Wagner

I love the beautiful moment of sight, smell, and taste as I am eating the first warm bite of homemade pie.


over 1 year ago Michelle A

Pies remind me of my childhood, especially apple pies. I prefer pie over cake any day!


over 1 year ago Sondi Hardy

I love pie and this book looks inspired. :-)


over 1 year ago sticksnscones

I find everything about making pie a soothing experience. Once you have a reliable crust recipe the rest is stress free!


over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It reminds me of my mother. ;o)


over 1 year ago PinkCupcake22

I love how comforting pie is and how much of a crowd-pleaser it is. People always seem to get excited when a homemade pie is presented!


over 1 year ago tera

I love that my grandmother taught me how to make the best apple pie...pie connects my family somehow. Perhaps it was because my grandfather taught her how to make pie when she came to the US from any rate...I love pie. It's a comfort food, nostalgic, wholesome, and takes one back to a simpler time.


over 1 year ago TaraT

I love that you can put pretty much anything you want in a (delicious) crust, and because it's pie, it's more fun to eat!


over 1 year ago gay judson

Pie…oh, how I love pie! Crispy, crunchy crust filled with creamy, rich filling…yummy! Compared to a good pie, cake is dry and boring! Fruit fillings in the summer, custard in the fall, chocolate in the winter and quiche in the spring! Wow, talk about diverse!


over 1 year ago mei55

how can you not love a flaky crust filled with creamy or fruity goodness? it's just perfect!


over 1 year ago jamminjelly

I love the fact that you can make it plain and comforting or go all out and create a beautiful masterpiece that's almost a shame to cut into, and both of those efforts will taste amazing.


over 1 year ago Jessica Adamcik

Pie is the perfect dessert; sweet, savory, satisfying...


over 1 year ago Nicole

The skill and craftsmanship that goes into each piece of the pie, from the delicate crust to the creative filling that needs just the right blend of ingredients to be delicious...there are endless options and you are free to be as creative as you wish


over 1 year ago jeanmarieok

I love pie because the crust is salty and savory, and the filling is sweet. Pie is my favorite dessert.


over 1 year ago caroline.gillis1

Pie for breakfast forever.


over 1 year ago NazNyc

It's the best of both worlds; crust and filling. Plus it's simple and the possibilities are endless!


over 1 year ago Lu

I love eating pie for breakfast, especially when it is fruit and when the crust is flaky!


over 1 year ago Kris Collett

They're a great showcase for seasonal ingredients, and they can be sweet or savory!


over 1 year ago Lara

Family and friends coming together over a delicious desert!


over 1 year ago Alison Holmstrom

I love making pies because they are a) delicious b) offer endless opportunity for creativity, and b) are convenient to gift to a neighbor or friend in a pie box. Leaving an anonymous treat on a loved one's door step is such fun.


over 1 year ago TerryMtz

I love that there's usually a crisp crust involved and that topping most pies with ice cream, whipped cream, or creme fraiche is encouraged.


over 1 year ago Miss Frizzle

I love warm apple pie with cold vanilla ice cream after Thanksgiving with my family all around. So many warm fuzzies.


over 1 year ago Maddie

I love pie and good whipped cream. With a hot cup of coffee on a cold day, the combination can't be beat.