I received a fantastic book for Christmas from one of my favorite bakeries, Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus Brooklyn. Their pie is so delicious, luscious and flavorful. I just close my eyes when I eat it and savor the taste. I visit the bakery maybe once a month and it is always a difficult decision on what slice to have. The bakery is a lovely, cozy little spot on the corner of 3rd ave and 8th street. Two sisters from South Dakota own the bakery, Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen. Their fist book came out in 2013.
The photos are beautiful, the layout of the book is enjoyable and I already have learned a few things just by making one of the recipes, lemon chess pie. A side note is that I do like to bake and I did work in a bakery during my summers in college, the Black Dog Bakery on Marthas Vineyard. My time spent there was baking cookies and tea breads. I never reached the pie baker level. However, I did work in the kitchen with the pie baker. Another bakery with unbelievable pies, my favorite, Peach Raspberry Crumble.
Both of these bakers have a thing in common, sourcing local ingredients. The Black Dog has been around since the 70's, always were using local. Now it is a trend, hopefully to stay. Local ingredients make the product taste better and support the community, a win win situation.
The book is divided into seasonal sections. Using products and ingredients that are in season and easy to find at the market. I decided to make the Lemon Chess Pie. The pastry crust was the most challenging part. I have made pies before and also have made crusts. However this crust was a tad different. It needed to be pre-baked. There were 3 steps before the pre-baking. I started late in the day so the pie was not finished being baked until around 10 pm. Then it is to chill for 3 to 4 hours. I started at 4:30 in the afternoon. Lesson learned, start the crust in the morning or the day before. The crust needs plenty of time to settle. It is well worth it because the crust was quite tasty.