When we first launched our Ceramic Pie Bird, made for us in small batches by the lovelies at Honeycomb Studio, I couldn’t wait to share this little treasure with the world. They are so sweet and classic, with a pretty little silhouette that is full of purpose for us pie lovers out there.
Since we launched, we’ve had several people ask what the Pie Bird is all about so I thought we’d take just a minute to give you a little history behind this baking tool and a how-to for bringing this little guy home for use in your own kitchen.
Pie Birds, also known as pie vents or pie chimneys, are used in heavy, liquid-filled pies like a fruit or meat pie. Their purpose is to literally act as a steam vent for the pie, allowing a place for the steam to escape from the pie and enabling you to keep the perfect crispy pie crust instead of leaving you with a soggy crust on the bottom.
As the story goes, royalty use to find new ways to impress their dinner guess when entertaining and one of these traditions included baking live birds right into their pies. When the pies were opened the birds would fly out and sing, impressing the guests. They also used this tactic to fold the bird into a dinner napkin, giving the same effect. A pretty crazy thing if you ask me, and I’m not quite sure the logistics of the birds actually surviving the pie baking experience but it is said to have inspired the song “Four and Twenty Blackbirds” which always comes to mind for me when baking a pie. Although it sure gives it a much different meaning knowing the backstory.
HOW TO USE A PIE BIRD :
1. Roll out and lay your bottom crust in your pie plate
2. Roll out your upper pie crust and set the pie bird in the center of your rolled out crust
3. Using your knife, cut a small hole around the pie bird (used for measurement), just large enough so he will poke through this hole.
4. Set your pie bird in the center of your pie plate, so it rests on top of the bottom crust
5. Fill your pie as normal, surrounding the pie bird and allowing is beak to rise up through the center
6. Take your upper pie crust with the hole in it and lay it over your pie so the pie bird pokes up through the center hole.
7. Finish your pie as normal, pinching or pleating the edges to seal the pie
8. Bake and serve your beautiful pie!
The Pie Birds are useful and make a beautiful presentation when busting through the top of your pie on the table. They’re even cute on a kitchen shelf when not in use. I’ll hope you’ll give this tool a try, it makes a perfect gift for anyone who loves to bake!
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heirloomed is a lifestyle brand with a mission of “keeping heirlooms around for another generation.” Our blog features stories about family recipes, creating traditions with your family, interior design and entertaining by mixing new and vintage pieces, classic style, and small town + historic travel. Our shop features a collection of “goods inspired by the past, for generations to enjoy” with an array of products and meaningful gifts including linen aprons, tabletop linens, art, ceramics and beyond. Learn more at www.heirloomedcollection.com.