Pie are squared at sisters’ new shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds

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A new bake shop in Gowanus has a fairy tale name — but there’s nothing make believe about the quality.

At Four and Twenty Blackbirds, sisters Melissa and Emily Elsen dream up classic pies with a twist, like their apple and pear with rosewater.

“Everything has a twist,” said Melissa Elsen. “We wanted to make our pies fresh and interesting.”

The two sisters were practically born to make pies, growing up helping their grandmother bake pies for their small-town family restaurant in South Dakota.

The duo still focuses on the handmade, homemade wisdom of their grandmother, but their pies have since grown a little more sophisticated.

“She used lard in her pie crusts,” said Melissa Elsen. “Lard makes a great crust, but we think butter tastes a lot better.”

If pie isn’t your thing, there are still more than a few reasons to head to Gowanus. Namely, quiches, house-made breakfast items, Irving Farm Coffee and a gorgeous, sunny space that’s already begun to attract neighborhood laptops.

But if it is pie you crave, get there early —- the sisters are often sold out by mid-afternoon. You know what they say: the early bird gets the pie.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds [439 Third Ave. at Eighth Street in Gowanus, (718) 499 2917]. For info, visit

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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