Four & Twenty Blackbirds' Cranberry Sage Pie

November 13, 2013

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: Sage moves from stuffing to your pie. 

Cranberry Sage Pie on Food52

Shop the Story

In the wintertime, colorful fruits, aside from citrus, are few and far between. Cranberries appear in early fall and are the perfect berry to pair with apples and pears, but we wanted to feature them in their own right. Sage often appears on a holiday table in roasted stuffing, but why not give it some attention in the dessert course?

Cranberry Sage Pie

Serves 8 to 10 people

3/4 cups dried cranberries
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons ground arrowroot
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen (two 10-ounce bags)
1 small baking apple, such as Northern Spy or Golden Delicious
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Gentl & Hyers

To win a copy of The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, tell us in the comments: What do you put in your savory pies? We'll pick winners at random at the end of the week! (Unfortunately, we can only ship domestically.)

52 Days of Thanksgiving
Check It Out
52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

Check It Out

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Gizell
  • Bex Kramer
    Bex Kramer
  • Fabiola
  • Lil Rinaldi
    Lil Rinaldi
Sisters Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen were born and raised in the rural farm town of Hecla, South Dakota. Their mother and her sisters owned and operated the popular local restaurant, the Calico Kitchen, for which their grandmother Liz made all the pies. After pursuing different careers—Melissa in finance and Emily in sculpture and photography—they established their business in Brooklyn. They originally custom-baked pies in their apartment before opening Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie and coffee shop in 2010. Named “Artisan of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011, they have received critical praise for their pies and have been featured in a variety of food media including the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and New York magazine.


Gizell December 3, 2013
Escarole sauteed with garlic, hot pepper a bit of anchovy. Some capers, pine nuts and raisins baked in a crust made with olive oil.
What my grandmother called Pizza Cena
Bex K. November 17, 2013
Lots of vegetables with cubed tofu and cheese
SEASPRAY November 17, 2013
Tomatoes, onions, basil and parm. Sooooo good
Fabiola November 15, 2013
Chicken, vegetables and sausage
Lil R. November 15, 2013
Made the Cranberry Sage Pie yesterday and it turned out awesome!
cookinginvictoria November 15, 2013
I adore savory pies and tarts. Near the top of my list has to be Suzanne Goin's exquisite tomato tart -- fresh heirloom tomatoes on a bed of caramelized onions in a puff pastry shell, topped with anchovies, capers, olives and a sprinkling of fresh goat cheese. During the winter months I like to make a roasted winter squash tart topped with garlic, aged cheddar cheese and sage in a whole wheat crust.
Meghan November 15, 2013
Caramelized onions, figs, and goat or blue cheese always work well on top a pie crust or tart. A drizzle of honey and some pistachios have never gone awry, either.
Daisy November 14, 2013
Goat cheese all the way!
Boulder B. November 14, 2013
I love to make browned butter, Brussels sprout, pear and Gorgonzola fall tart!
Dominika U. November 14, 2013
Tomatoes! We make a tomato pie...with fresh tomatoes and basil, with a cheese crust on top at the market where I work. I bake about 20 a week.
cfelten November 14, 2013
I love classic quiche lorraine but a long time ago I made a spinach and cottage cheese pie with thinly sliced tomato on top that was a knockout. Unfortunately, this was before the internet, so I doubt Gourmet has it online.

By the way, the presentation of the cranberry sage pie is stunning and I will be stealing this idea immediately for my Thanksgiving apple pie :)
sarabclever November 14, 2013
I love making pita-type pies if that counts with lots of greens. Or quiche!
Lara November 14, 2013
No doubt classic and cliche...but quiche lorraine!
Emily November 14, 2013
Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, but with lots of onion added to contrast the sweetness. Reminds me of my German-Russian grandma's version of plachinda, which can't be beat.
Kaycee November 14, 2013
Funny you should ask! I am sure I was inspired by pie week last night. I didn't think I had enough ingredients for dinner at first, but I took all the vegetables I could find, roasted them with rosemary, sprinkled in some bleu cheese,and some bits of hunter's sausage, and then decided to bake it all into a delicious pie!
Evan November 14, 2013
Roasted parsnip pie with golden raisin, nigella and pistachio
Tenaya November 13, 2013
I've gotten into the habit of turning just about any stew leftovers into pies. I also like making butternut squash hand pies, with some apple, nuts, dried cranberries and sage in there.
Michelle S. November 13, 2013
I like chicken pot pie.
andie November 13, 2013
I love Julia Child's leek quiche filling.
UrbanCook2012 November 13, 2013
We make a pie where the crust has black pepper. The filling has ricotta salata, finely diced sopressata, ricotta and eggs. It's amazing. Serve w a simple butter lettuce salad.