Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Slice of the Week - Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Hi, I'd like to order four slices of pie.

Ok no problem, is that to go?

... No.

When I first started this blog, I made a list of all the best places in the city to get pie. Pulled mainly from a "best pie NYC" Goggle search, results like this and this made a few things clear. First, that there aren't actually too many bakeries in this city devoted solely to pie. Second, that Brooklyn seems to be a hub for not just shaggy hipsters with ironic clothing choices, but for all things pie. And finally, I learned that there is a place, a mecca if you will, deep in the heart of Gowanas that is the epitome of pie. Enthusiasts from near and far whisper it's name with awe, tomes have been written about it, soccer moms name their firstborn after it.
     (Ok, that last one might be an exaggeration. But then again, it might not.)

Anyway, Four & Twenty Blackbirds immediately moved to the top of my Pie to Try list. The problem, however, was that it's located off of the 9th Street stop on the R train in Brooklyn - about an hour away from my apartment, and in an area I never have a reason to frequent. My roommate and I started to refer to the trek to Four & Twenty as our Pie Pilgrimage, and decided to make the trip a reality as soon as possible.

10 months later, she and I finally found a four-hour block of time in which we were both in the city but without work or rehearsal. Sometimes I marvel at how artists ever get ANYTHING scheduled or accomplished.

So, on a rainy Tuesday in October, Amanda and I took the subway to Brooklyn and ordered slices of four of the five available sweet pies. Was this a healthy idea? No. Did we almost go into anaphylactic shock halfway through the meal? Possibly, but I don't really know what anaphylactic shock is. Was this the most delicious pie tasting ever? Absolutely.

Salted Carmel Apple
Soft, sweet apples nestled under a buttery salted crust. At first, this pie isn't anything special, just a really good apple pie. Then comes a burst of salty goodness. It's a crazy, surprising juxtaposition of flavor.

Brown Butter Pumpkin
Everything about this pie is so light and airy that you assume it's made with angel kisses (or at the very least, that it must be fat-free). Consisting of the fluffiest pumpkin puree known to man and a flaky crust that actually melts in your mouth, this slice was Amanda's favorite.

Black Bottom Oat
This pie is the lovechild of Mr. Shaker Oat and Ms. Nestlee Tollhouse. Both decadent and comforting, it's dessert at its' best. Shortbread crust, crunchy oat topping, a thick layer of chocolate on the bottom - there is nothing this pie can't do. We named it the "break-up pie" and told our server that this pie will be replacing the requisite tub of ice cream for all our future heartbreaks. 

Bourbon Pear Crumble
With tart pear slices and brown sugared oats, I was surprised to call this pie my favorite (I'm not a huge fan of pears). It wasn't overly sweet and I appreciated the crunch of both the crust and pears.

It's safe to say that I will go back to Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Not only do they change up their pie menu on a daily basis, they also feature a selection of savory pies that we didn't even attempt to try. The slices also weren't even that expensive - about $5 each, and they were served on actual plates with real silverware (low standards? Maybe, but realize that the last pie I tried was in a cardboard box in a train station).

food coma.

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