Double crust pies need to be vented to ensure that the steam from the cooking filling can escape without ruining the look of the pie. There are many ways to vent a pie crust, from simply cutting a few slits in the top before putting it into the oven to placing a pie bird in the center of the dish. A pie bird, or pie funnel, is a hollow ceramic bird-shaped object that is placed in the center of a pie to give it a vent. The idea originated decades ago, perhaps in reference to “Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie…”. They are very functional because there is no chance of your vent closing or resealing itself as the pie bakes. The problem with a pie bird is that they are awkwardly shaped and can be difficult to cut around, though they will give your pie an attractive vintage look.
This Ceramic Pie Vent with Slicing Guide is a more modern alternative to that traditional pie bird. The hollow ceramic tube is chimney-like, as it vents the pie filling and allows steam to escape. When the pie is baked, you can use the ridges on the vent as a slicing guide to ensure that each piece you cut is perfectly even. These ridges give the vent a secondary purpose that pie vents almost never have! The vent itself is oven-safe up to 450 degrees, and the ceramic glaze creates a smooth surface that is easy to clean when you are finished baking.