Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen

THE FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS PIE BOOK: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop (2013)


Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen are sisters 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, and in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and New York magazine. Now they have put together a pie book that is anything but humble.

This stunning collection features over 60 delectable recipes organized by season, with unique and mouthwatering creations such as Brown Butter Pumpkin, Bourbon Pear Crumble, Malted Chocolate Pecan, Black Currant Lemon Chiffon, and Salty Honey. The Elsens’ detailed and informative techniques section will help you make pies like an expert, and a special section on crusts includes their traditional all-butter version as well as ten others, including a crust made from pistachios and coconut and another from animal crackers.

Lavishly designed, The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book contains more than 100 full-color photographs that will have you dreaming of pies day and night. And with its surprising and delicious taste combinations, it’s sure to be the one you turn to again and again.

“Deliriously delicious.”—Danny Meyer

“They make pies the way nobody makes pies anymore.”—Frank Falcinelli & Frank Castronovo

Rights: Grand Central, World; Marabout, France; Natur & Kultur, Sweden