Clean Pie Plate Club: Q&A with Four & Twenty Blackbirds
While the inarguable star of the Thanksgiving table is the turkey—especially a pastured, local turkey—there’s one thing we all leave room for, no matter how high the sides are heaped. Pie! From classic pumpkin to crunchy-sweet pecan, warm apple to decadent chocolate, there are so many mouth watering kinds of pie to bring to the holiday feast we might just need another table. Last year, we brought in Brooklyn’s favorite piemaker, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, to our Thanksgiving menu. It was such a hit that we couldn’t stop selling pies even after the big day! This year, we’ll be making sure there are enough pies to feed everyone in your bubble. (You can even send pies to friends with our home delivery!) And because we can’t get enough of these tasty pies, we asked Four & Twenty Blackbirds just what makes their pies so addictive.
What inspired the founding of Four and Twenty Blackbirds?
The foundation of our pie recipes came from a shared love of making something good that our friends and family would want to eat after a good meal, or any time of day.
When we decided to open a pie shop in New York City, we were hard pressed to find anyone focusing exclusively on pies in a truly handmade way, using seasonal and fresh ingredients sourced from local orchards. Sure, plenty of bakeries made and carried pies, but not pies like ours; and we didn't know of any places in the neighborhoods we frequented that were dedicated exclusively to the experience of sitting down and eating a slice of freshly baked, handmade pie; and that is exactly what we wanted to create: a local pie shop.
What's something you'd like people to know about your pies, but don't always get to mention?
Everything we produce is handmade by experienced bakers. Our recipes do not include preservatives or "shelf stable" ingredients—when you purchase our pie, you are getting a freshly baked pie that could be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner. A little side of yogurt or milk, ice cream or whipped cream is a good accompaniment.
What's the best part of being a Brooklyn pie maker?
Our shared community in a big, small town. We are now on our 10th year for Thanksgiving and we take great pride in having provided pies to the NYC metro area from 400 pies when we started in 2010 to 5,000 pies and more today in 2020. Brooklyn is a city of it's own, neighborhood by neighborhood. Our storefront locations in Prospect Heights and Gowanus, are the places we love to connect with our neighbors and we truly love being able to share our work to bring a little sweet spot to the day for our customers.
What's your favorite pie that you make?
All of them! It's pretty hard to play favorites, but we do love our seasonal favorites—as much as our customers—Salty Honey, Brown Butter Pumpkin, Salted Caramel Apple, Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan for Thanksgiving. And we have some many for our December Holiday Flavors!
We carry Four & Twenty Blackbirds' 8" pies year round, but you can reserve a 10" holiday pie for your Thanksgiving table with our online Thanksgiving menu!