Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen

Sisters + Pie Makers

Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie bakery was founded in Brooklyn in 2009 by sisters and pie makers Melissa Elsen and Emily Elsen.


"When we decided to open a pie shop in New York City, we were hard pressed to find anyone focusing exclusively on pies in a truly handmade way, using seasonal and fresh ingredients sourced from local orchards. Sure, plenty of bakeries made and carried pies, but not pies like ours; and we didn't know of any places in the neighborhoods we frequented that were dedicated exclusively to the experience of sitting down and eating a slice of freshly baked, handmade pie with a cup of coffee; and that is exactly what we wanted to create: a local pie shop."


-Emily + Melissa, from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop



The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Emily and Melissa Elsen's first book of pie recipes The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop was released in October of 2013 and has received international critical praise and sold over 35,000 copies worldwide. It has been translated to the French by Marabout and Swedish by Natur & Kultur.

Named “Artisans of the Year” by Time Out New York in 2011, their pies have received critical praise and have been featured in a variety of international food media including the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Good Morning America, Oprah and New York Magazine.



Hear the Elsen sisters describe how their family's work ethic and grandmother's handmade pie recipes inspired them to open their pie shop, Four & Twenty Blackbirds.  Cultural Kitchen is a featured series on Tasted.com that explores modern food and the chefs who make it, while showcasing the culture that inspired the plate.




The Pie Shop

The sisters originally custom-baked pies in their Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment before opening their first brick and morter retail location in Gowanus, Brooklyn in the Spring of 2010. 




Hecla, South Dakota

Emily and Melissa were born and raised in the rural farm town of Hecla, South Dakota. Their mother and her sisters owned and operated the popular local restaurant, the Calico Kitchen, for which their Grandmother Liz made all the pies.

After pursuing different careers—Melissa in finance and Emily in sculpture and photography—they established their business in Brooklyn.

The sisters took inspiration from their family's culinary traditions along with their passion for seasonal ingredients and creativity with flavor combinations and put their pies on the international culinary map.

-Emily and Melissa with their mother Mary