Part of me wonders why I didn’t call this blog pie + prosciutto, because, quite frankly, that’s all I crave these days. Warm focaccia loaves dressed with arugula, olive oil and tender strips of parma ham have me swooning, and who can honestly resist a slice of caramel salted apple pie?! The past few weeks have been exceedingly busy — so much so that it’s been hard to find patches of quiet. This weekend I decided to trek deep into Park Slope as I’ve been hearing people fawn over Four + Twenty Blackbirds, a pie joint that is unparalleled.
When it comes to bakeries and pastry shops I’m pretty brutal. If I’m able to bake a better pie than what you’ve got displayed in the window, I start to wonder how you’re still in business. I settle for nothing less than extraordinary, and I tend to ignore the pomp of the lauded shops populated by folks who are easily awed by mediocre muffins. So when I arrived at Four + Twenty I was pretty skeptical. Located by the Gowanus, the area is pretty desolate but the space is warm, inviting, and filled with farmhouse tables and a team baking. From savory pies (think butternut squash, caramelized onions and goat cheese) to pastries, the options looked impressive. I purchased a few slices of their recommended picks (salted caramel apple pie, brown butter pumpkin, among others), and while I found the salted caramel pretty good (not extraordinary, as the pie was saltier than I’d prefer, subsuming the caramel), the brown butter pumpkin was OUT. OF. BOUNDS. Luscious, creamy filling juxtaposed to a nutty crust, I devoured it in one go, standing outside the shop.
On my way back, I checked out Valley Shepherd Creamery, a small shop that is host to artisanal goods (cheeses, chocolates and baked goods from Ovenly). The prosciutto mozzarella sandwich was the yummiest antecedent to a divine slice of pie.
And naturally I fell asleep on my couch.