It's pie season!
Personally, I think it is always pie season, but Thanksgiving is the traditional holiday for baking up lots of tasty pies for gatherings. There have been quite a few baking books that have come out lately that look fantastic, but one that I can wholeheartedly recommend is The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop. The authors, Melissa and Emily Elsen, are sisters who are co-proprietors of their own pie shop in Brooklyn. I have never visited the shop, but I was anxiously awaiting the publication of this book because I had found a couple of their recipes in an issue of Ready Made magazine a few years ago and loved them.
The Elsen sisters seem to agree with me that pie is a year-round treat, because the book is helpfully organized by season. Each season focuses on pies made with seasonal ingredients and flavors that reflect the time of year. Naturally, I started with autumn, and the first one I made Salted Caramel Apple Pie. Despite a few glitches in the caramel sauce (I blame the gas stove in my new house), it was pretty amazing. I have also tried the Cranberry Sage and the Pear Anise, and both turned out wonderfully. Their recipes tend to offer twists on standards, either the addition of an unusual herb or spice, or another ingredient you wouldn’t necessarily think of for pie (such as beets or pork). Their all butter crust recipe is my go-to crust, whether baking pies from this book or other recipes, and they outline a few other crust recipes that you may like as well. I’m looking forward to trying out many more of their recipes throughout the coming year.