Saturday, December 14, 2013

Four and Twenty Black Birds Pie Book

As some of you might know I have a particular sweet spot for pie. So, when my dear friends showed up at my 40th birthday party with the new Pie Book from the famed Brooklyn pie shop Four and Twenty Blackbirds, well, I was pretty darn happy. Conveniently, this occurred the week just before Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd swap out my favorite pie dough this year and try out theirs, and let's just say I we were not disappointed! It is a very similar recipe, including the vinegar, but theirs has a bit more, and they spoon the ice water in 2 tablespoons at a time. The dough is tender, flaky and delicious. (If you want to check out my other favorite pie dough recipe click here.) What is amazing is that they make all ther dough for their pie shop by hand, including cutting in all the butter! I found that I could cut the butter in with a paddle attachment to my mixer just fine, but adding the water by hand a tablespoon or two at and time works great. 

Here is the link to the Four and Twenty Blackbirds shop: and their new new Pie Book which would make a wonderful gift for any avid or aspiring baker. The step by step instructions and photos are extremely well done. 

Four and Twenty Black Birds All Butter Pie Crust:
Author Notes: This is one of our staple crusts used at the shop. It's also featured in a variety of our pies included in THE FOUR AND TWENTY BLACKBIRDS PIE BOOK. - ElsenEM
Makes dough for one single-crust 9- to 10-inch pie or tart

  • 1 1/4cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2cup cold water
  • 2tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2cup ice
  1. Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.
  3. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).
  4. Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated.
  6. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining.
  7. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine.
  8. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow.
  9. If making the double-crust version, divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs.
  10. Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
This Pie Party blog post has some great links to fun pie recipes too. Below is a cherry berry pie based on this cherry pie recipe form Melissa Clark. Mine is a mix of raspberries, blueberries and cherries cooked in a tart pan.  Hope you make some time for delicious pie baking this winter! it's a great excuse to turn the oven on!
And...please share your favorite pie recipes!

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