Four & Twenty Blackbirds: Brooklyn's Best Pie
I've been spending a lot of time on a certain block in Gowanus. Close to the F stop on 4th Avenue, it has two important places. One spot makes Nico very happy (and though Leo is only 5 months old, he seems to enjoy it, too). The other motivates me, no matter how sleep-deprived I am, to schlep a baby and a 2 1/2 year old there almost every week.
Nico and Leo's place is Powerplay, a children's gym that has classes and an indoor playspace. Four & Twenty Black Birds, home to Brooklyn's best pie, is mine.
I've never really been a pie person. I usually crave crisps and crumbles, or brownies, cookies and cakes. But these pies are all I want lately. My favorites are filled with in-season fruits. Not sticky sweet, they have a double-crust and are sprinkled with raw sugar. On my last visit, I ordered slices of Spiced Plum Fig, Salted Caramel Apple and Plum Crumble.
Opened by two sisters from South Dakota, Four and Twenty Blackbirds is small and cozy. Some seem to come in for their morning cup of coffee while others linger at a big wooden table. The pies are perfect, but other baked goods, such as fat morning cakes stuffed with figs, or strawberries or prunes are also pretty addictive. It'd be a good place to relax with a friend and enjoy some sweets and a hot drink. For now, I get mine to go. I wait till both boys are asleep, then I heat my slice gently in the oven and eat it with some Greek yogurt on the side.
At $4.50 a slice, it's not the cheapest treat out there. After apple picking a few weeks ago, I found their Salted Caramel Apple Pie recipe and considered making it myself. Reading the instructions, I remembered that it takes a lot of time and patience to make a really good pie, especially when making your own double-crust. These days, I'll happily pay the Elsen sisters to make it for me. Again, and again, and again.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd Avenue (corner of 8th Street)