Pie Birds

Pie Bird Collection
Pie Bird Collection

I don’t know how many of you are bakers out there, but me I love making a good pie. While I tend to stick for the basic tools, there have been a lot invented over the years to try to make the process easier. When you make a fruit pie one of the dangers is that you will have too much juice and the pie will boil over. The juice is part of the pie baking that is an art, not a science and unexpected boilings over can occur especially if there was a lot of liquid inside the fruit used as filling to begin with.  If this falls down onto your oven during baking it is normally cooked on before you get a chance to clean it. It’s then incredibly hard to get off. What we normally use is an oven saver which sit under the pie pan and catch any unexpected drips.

How Pie Birds Work

However, an alternative solution is to put a pie bird in the center of your pie. While these are normally decorative and shaped like a bird, they essentially function as a pipe, giving the liquid a place to go without spilling over the edge (the liquid travels up filling the bird before any boils over the edge, serving as a pressure release). The Spring Valley Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum has a nice example of a Pie Bird on display in their kitchen area and they would be glad to tell you the story. This display in the photo comes from the Youngsville Cafe outside Vinton, Iowa and shows some of the many designs.

Get Your Own

Although pie baking isn’t as popular as it once was, pie birds are still being made in different designs today. Whether you’d like one to put in your pie or just one for looks, you can find them for sale online. I’m including a link to one offered by Cutlery and More because I’ve done business with them before, but a shopping search in your favorite search engine will show more design options.



Published by

Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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