My "Pie Bird" sits in a nest of Blackberry Pie.

The Hollow Bird with the Open Mouth Allows the Steam to Escape.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds Baked in a Pie......We have all heard the nursery rhyme.  But did you know that there really are pie birds and they really ARE baked in pies? 

In olden times they were very popular and found to be quite useful as they aid in reducing the overflow of a pie by releasing the steam as well as allowing the juices to boil up inside of the hollow bird.

Pie Bird in a Blackberry Pie
My pie bird is well used and I have very often purchased them when I come across them and given them to many of my friends and relatives as gifts.  They used to carry them at our local Rural King store but I am not sure if they still do.

The next best bet would be an antique shop or rural auctions.  I am quite sure the older ones are prized by collectors but it is certain they can still be found!!

Today I decided to make up a blackberry pie using the berries the Saltzman's gifted us on Sunday and my pie bird was a great asset.  The pie hardly boiled over at all, just a tiny bit.  Usually you can count on a pie with this much fruit filling to really cook over a lot!

The way to use a pie bird is to place the bottom crust into the pie dish and then to center the bottomless and hollow little bird in the center of the pastry lined dish.  Then spoon the filling evenly around the bird.  Top with a slotted top crust and push the birds "beek" through the top crust.  Crimp the edges to seal.

Bake the pie as directed.  I still tend to place a foil lined baking sheet under the pie on a lower rack but again it does reduce the overflow a great deal.

Recipe for Blackberry Pie given on 7/18/10.
Pie Crust Recipes given, Cherry Hand Pies on 8/12/12.
Cherry Pie and Crust on 7/7/10.
Three Pie Crusts on 2/12/12.

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