Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Name That Thing – Answer

Written by Patti on November 14th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

Did you name that thing last week?

What are these?

Of course, these are pie birds! You guessed, didn’t you?

Here’s a detailed account of our sweet friends, via Wikipedia:

A pie bird, pie vent, pie whistle, pie funnel, or pie chimney is a hollow ceramic device, traditionally from Europe and shaped like a bird. Pie birds are steam vents that have been placed in the center of fruit and meat pies during cooking since Victorian times.

Pie funnels were used in baking pies and prevent the pie from boiling over in the oven by allowing the steam created when the fruit filling or other contents are cooking to escape from inside the pie. They also supported the pastry crust in the center of the pie, so that it did not sag in the middle, and are hence also known as “crustholders”. Older ovens had more problems with uniform heating, and the pie bird prevented boilover in pie cooking.

Here’s what they look like inside a pie.

So cute!

If you are anything like me, you might be hungry for a piece of pie right now. How about a recipe for your Thanksgiving dinner?

Apple Streusel Pie
Adapted from


2 ounces butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans

9 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 recipes unbaked pie shells


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C).

Prepare the topping by combining the butter, brown sugar, flour and chopped pecans. Cut in all ingredients with pastry cutter until pea-sized. Set aside.

Combine the apples, sugar, flour and cinnamon. Toss gently together and set aside.

Place apple mixture in unbaked pie shells. Heap the apples up high in each shell and fill completely. Sprinkle topping on top of each.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 minutes. Do not allow topping to get too dark.

Apple Streusel Pie

Isn’t that a nice way to start the week? Have a great one!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Don McLean – American Pie


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Melanie says:

    I love the colors! I have two antique ones….so adorable! Great article Patti!

  2. Patti says:


    Aren’t they fun!