matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Matcha Custard Pie

Maybe I’m missing my calling in life by not picking up a famous cookbook and chronicling my way through it. Someone’s already done Julia Childs, so there goes that idea. Maybe can bleach my hair, spike it, put sunglasses on the back of my head, and work my way through Guy Fieri’s “Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It“.

Uhhhh, no, the appeal of that disappeared too fast. Ha!

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

It’s not often that I post a recipe on this blog that came from someone else first, verbatim. Though I prefer to develop my own recipes for this blog, I’ve found great recipes and, with credit given to their respective creators, adjusted them to give them my own personal twist. This time, I decided to straight-up make a pie I’ve been wanting to make for ages, if only to save me on a long voyage to Gowanas. (Ugh…I hate transferring from the A to the F/G. Haaa.) Four & Twenty Blackbirds is an amazing pie shop in Brooklyn which I’ve been to a few times. I haven’t been there since 2012, and I have been itching for a trip down there, long trip be damned! It’s a cozy yet popular little spot to go to, and their pies are truly amazing. Recently, I saw a lot of people on Instagram post photos of their Matcha Custard Pie, and it looked amazing! Though green tea usually turns this supertaster’s tastebuds off, matcha, to my surprise, is a flavor I honestly enjoy and indulge in quite often.

I had a friend coming to my place to spend the night recently, and my inner hostess said, “I better bake something for her arrival!”

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Admittedly, I cut a few corners – namely, buying a pre-made pie crust at Whole Foods – because I did not have the time that day to make my own crust. Hell, I’ll admit, I usually buy the pie crust you can roll out into your pie tin – one of my favorite cooking shortcuts of all time – but the Whole Foods at Columbus and 97th didn’t have any in stock when I went. (Damn them!) However, I loaded up on ample eggs and heavy cream while I was there, with the newest tin of matcha at my apartment ready to be broken into.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

The process was surprisingly easy! I par-baked my pie crust, though, as you can tell from the photos, it did pull away on the sides a bit. The amount of custard I made ended up exceeded the amount of space in the pie crust; this recipe definitely will work better in a deeper pie tin. This was a great lesson in living and learning as you bake! However, the end result, while not as gorgeous as anything I’ve seen at the shop itself or on Instagram, had a wonderfully creamy flavor that had me swooning! For those that might be turned off by the occasional sharp or grassy flavor of matcha, this pie may be a great (re)introduction to it! It’s not overwhelmingly sweet either, the sugar and cream marrying beautifully to mellow out the often sharp flavor of the matcha.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

It’s a wonderful pie to start the spring out with. DO IT.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Matcha Custard Pie
(Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe, via Food52)

Ingredients:

– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons Ippodo Matcha powder
– 1/2 (8 tablespoons) cup butter, melted
– 3 whole eggs
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 pie crust of choice (pre-made or your own recipe)

Directions:
(Please note that some of the verbiage in the directions is taken verbatim from Food52.)

1.) At least two hours prior to baking, par-bake your pie crust. (If using a pre-made crust, follow directions on package for how to par-bake. If making homemade crust, please use these directions.)

2.) Preheat the oven to 325° F. Position oven rack in center of oven.

3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and matcha powder. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the melted butter, then the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix briskly until the filling is thin and light colored. Stir in the heavy cream, followed by the vanilla extract.

4.) Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag directly into the pie shell; if you are uncomfortable doing this, strain filling through a fine-mesh sieve , cheesecloth, or nut milk bag into a large bowl, then pour contents of bowl into the pie shell. Be careful not to overfill! Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about to 35 minutes into baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but still wobbles slightly.

5.) Remove pie from oven. Allow pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours. Slice and serve. The pie will keep refrigerated for 1 week or at room temperature for 1 day.

That Time My Camera Was Under Quarantine, And Other Musings

Let me tell you: It’s very frustrating to work on a burgeoning food web site when one of your most important tools is under a temporary quarentine. I am currently undergoing an unwanted, yet common, New York City nightmare: BEDBUG EXTERMINATION. I’m so pleased that it didn’t happen between six years and three apartments in Manhattan, but I’m not so pleased that it finally happened at all. (Haaa.) We’re clean, but them lil’ critters sure don’t discriminate. Bedbug extermination goes in phases: You get the first spray, then you have to wait at least a week before another spray, because the first spray only kills the adults, not the eggs. You need to wait for the eggs to hatch to kill the rest of ’em. Last Wednesday was Spray #1, and this Saturday morning was Spray #2, and hopefully the last one. (Cross your fingers! I want to take my life out of plastic bags!) Both my roommates and our dog are out of town for the weekend, so I waited out the fumes by myself for the three hours at one of my favorite neighborhood spots: Indian Road Cafe. I drank a Matcha Latte and ate a Basil Meyer Lemon Tart that made me want to scream like Sally Albright at Katz’s.

IMG_7652

This photo looks like spring! 

What does this all have to do with my camera?

Well, the ol’ girl and her lenses have been tied up in thick plastic bags until the extermination mist has settled, the bugs have gone to Heaven (or Hell, hopefully), and our apartment isn’t a total war zone anymore. It really sucks when you have so many recipes developed and you’re itching to both cook and photograph them. Oooh, my camera. My baby! I miss her so! She’s so close, yet, so far away.

Here’s hoping that, next week, we are joyously reunited.

In the meantime, many cool things have happened while I’ve been sans Canon.

– I have been developing a couple new recipes and, in test runs, they’ve turned out well! I’m going to have a zucchini noodle dish coming up in a future entry, and you’ll surely love it…as long as you love peas, too! (And why wouldn’t you?) I also have a simple yet filling three ingredient pancake recipe that has saved me on many mornings at work. File it under “Makes Multiple Breakfast For Your Work Week”. YES!

– I am a photographer, but my preferred subjects are easily posable and always edible. People? I can not do that. “Pose this way”? “Smile this way”? “Look this way”? This are all phrases that scare me half to death. How photographers deal with people is beyond me, especially antsy people like me that are constantly feeling like their hair is out of place, their lip gloss isn’t pink enough, or they aren’t looking in the right direction. (Okay, you could even call me a “spaz” if you must. Ha!) Well, I praise Krystal Balzer and her photography! She’s a friend of mine that works at the same hospital department as me, and she also has a wonderful photography business. We recently had a photo shoot at one of my other favorite local spots, Darling Coffee. I wanted some professional photos of me for this site, LinkedIn, et al. The lighting was perfect that evening, the mint verbena tea was delicious, and she took some amazing shots of me. I’m not lying: I got a little teary-eyed when she sent me the sneak peek. (I’m an emotional gal, sometimes!) It was just what I wanted!

krystal photo sneak peek

My eyes are really this color. #truthbombsdropping 

I can’t wait to share more shots in a few weeks; in the meantime, please check out Krystal Balzer Photography. This girl is wicked talented, and she has an excellent photographic style.

– I made my way to Wassail with my two dearest friends and fellow foodies, Lori and Hilary. I am a huge fan of hard ciders, and I loved them before they got so recently popular. (I need to stake my claim. Heh.) I have an admittedly odd allergy to Brewer’s Yeast, and drinking beer or eating it as a supplement in food makes me physically ill. (Fun, eh?) This led me to being introduced to Woodchuck Cider in my later college years, and I never looked back! When I heard that the folks behind the Queens Kickshaw were going to open this spot in the Lower East Side, I counted down the days as if it was about to be Christmas. The gals and I shared some ciders and small plates, and it was a great experience! From fancy bottles over $100 to various draughts representing various countries and continents, I could not have asked for a more enjoyable Happy Hour! I had a tart yet lightly sweet pint of Hidden Star from Slyboro Cider House, and I would definitely recommend it to both the cider novice and the cider connoisseur.

ciders wassail

A typical Instagrammed Happy Hour. 

As another week begins, I look forward to more recipe development, spring-like temperatures, Peruvian Chicken at Flor de Mayo, my freshman year roommate’s wedding on Friday, exploring interesting food options in New Haven, Connecticut, and finally reuniting with my camera so I can feel a little more creatively whole again.

Have a wonderful week, and continue to seek satiation, y’all! 🙂