A pie bird, pie vent, or pie whistle is a hollow ceramic device used to prevent pie filling from boiling up and leaking through the crust. These clever gadgets are designed to allow steam to escape from inside the pie. They also support the pastry crust in the center of the pie, so that it does not sag in the middle.
Originally pie vents were simple inverted funnels, with arches on the bottom for steam to enter. In the 1930’s vents were redesigned into a bird shape with steam releasing through the bird’s mouth. Soon pie birds were created in a multitude of designs from storybook characters and animals to advertising mascots.
Pie birds remain popular as gifts and collectors’ items rather than for their usefulness. Whether you bake pies or just love vintage kitchenware, pie vents are a whimsical addition to your kitchen.
The PAST Antiques Marketplace has an interesting array of pie birds and other vintage kitchenware. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!