What’s more American than a slice of pie on July 4th? Apple may be ye olde standby, but Emily Elsen—who opened Brooklyn’s beloved Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop with her sister in 2009—has plenty of suggestions for alternate fruit fillings with a more modern bent. Lavender, meet blueberry. Paprika, meet peach.
What’s your dream location for a summer picnic?
Our friend Sara’s family home in Isle au Haut, Maine. It’s a beautiful, remote island that feels like you have reached the edge of the earth.
Who would make the perfect +1?
I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of meeting her only once—and it was late in her life—but to spend the evening at a social event with Louise Bourgeois in New York or Paris would be incredibly inspiring.
What’s your favorite party memory?
Every year we have a “pie family party” after the holidays are over and everyone has had a chance to recuperate. One year we held it at our large home in Crown Heights: We feasted, had a bonfire in our driveway (the cops showed even up because our neighbors thought our house was on fire!), and everyone danced and made merry late into the night.
What’s your go-to summer pie?
Any of our pies made with summer fruit! In no particular order: Sour Cherry, Rhubarb, Lavender Blueberry, Honey Apricot, Plum Fig Crumble, Paprika Peach, Nectarine Berry, Apple Blackberry, the list could go on.
What’s your early exit strategy?
I really enjoy socializing, so I’m not often the first to exit! If I have to, I just try to graciously say good night and apologize for leaving early.