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Gift Ideas - Pie Dishes, Pie Birds and Bakeware

Updated on November 5, 2015
This blackbird pie dish is exactly like the ones my great aunt and grandmother used to have.
This blackbird pie dish is exactly like the ones my great aunt and grandmother used to have. | Source

Pie Birds and Pie Dishes Best Christmas Gift Guide!

When you look back to what made you really happy, do you ever think the pies your grandmother used to make? Those well-used pie dishes, those blackbird pie birds that peeked out from an old-fashioned apple pie. The best gift ideas are simple gifts that make us truly happy. Why not take up baking and share a little of that happiness?

Perhaps you have a pie maker in mind and the cook in your life already has a passion for pies and you're looking for gifts for cooks that can be used and treasured for many years to come?

Look no further. Pies and baking are enjoying a revival as home cooking and traditional recipes become popular again, so why not treat the cook in your life to a pie bird and pie dish and put a little real, simple pleasure back into your life?

Part of the charm and popularity of this bake ware, is that these items are so collectible. There's a style for everybody and every home. Choosing a gorgeous gift for Christmas or other special occasions is - 'as easy as pie'.

Are You Pie Bird Rich? - Or pie bird poor?

Do you have a pie bird?

See results

Christmas Pie Dishes

The perfect Christmas gifts for cooks

This Winterberry Pie Bird and Pie Place Look so Festive

Pfaltzgraff Winterberry 9-1/2-Inch Perfect Pie Plate with Cardinal Pie Bird
Pfaltzgraff Winterberry 9-1/2-Inch Perfect Pie Plate with Cardinal Pie Bird

Gorgeous pie plate that comes with its very own Cardinal pie bird. The brilliant red bird looks so festive but would look a treat on the table at any time of the year.


What are Pie Birds?

And why do you need them?

Now you might be asking yourself the question, "Who on earth needs a pie bird and what for?" Well, they're very decorative and very collectable so you might decide that you'd like to give them even if your loved-one has never baked a pie in their life. On the other hand, for cooks the pie bird, (or pie funnel, pie whistle, pie chimneys, pie ventilator, pie crust support, pie preserver), keeps the pie crust high and allows the steam from the pie to escape. You can also get funnels with wide mouths that allow gravy and jelly to be poured into the pie after baking. They also add a nice finishing touch to the pie.

(For every sale from Amazon on this page, Squidoo donates $1 to Room to Read)

Inspired by Recipes from my Grandmother's Kitchen - I set to work and made this pie complete with blackbird pie funnel

This is my pie showing how the pie bird holds up the crust and lets out steam. Four and twenty blackbirds - no just one but isn't ti sweet?
This is my pie showing how the pie bird holds up the crust and lets out steam. Four and twenty blackbirds - no just one but isn't ti sweet? | Source

I live in Limousin, S W France and run a guest house, Les Trois Chenes, and moving here from England was a great culinary adventure. I love to cook, I love to read and learn about food and cooking but I'm very far from being a great cook, which I think means that if I can do it, so can you!

Not very long ago, when I was sorting through boxes of stored family papers and paraphernalia, I found a stash of my Granny's recipes and thought how interesting they were, but also how much our diets and eating habits had changed since then - and not for the better. Full of enthusiasm, having done a bit of research (what is a pie bird and why would you want one?) I rushed away to hunt down pie making equipment in my Mother's house. After some crawling around cupboards, we found a Hornsey Pottery pie dish and my kind old Mum bought me this super pie bird which is exactly like the one my Gran used to have.

Together we made this pie. More pie birds and dishes are on my gift list now!

you can contact me about our B&B gite (holiday cottage) or painting holidays and courses on +33 (0)5 55 48 29 84, e-mail me at or take a peek at our website

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pie Birds

.... but were afraid to ask

Pie birds and pie funnels help you bake the perfect pie

Did You Know That Pie Birds or Pie Funnels Date Back to Victorian Times?

So what did they use before then?

Before the invention of the pie bird, they would have used a piece of macaroni or an egg cup to vent or support the crust. The earliest pie funnels were made in 1880 by Dean and Morris. As pies are baked in dishes of differing depths these funnels were made in three sizes and can often be bought in sets today. Not only birds, though! They can be produced in any form as the functional aspects of the design are a hollow interior, a hole at the top and a 'shoulder' to support the pastry, however some of the earliest patents were in the form of blackbirds, registered by Grace Seccombe and Clarice Cliff. Learn more about pie birds: Pie birds and pie funnels help you bake the perfect pie

The blackbird pie bird below is the traditional sort that I was brought up with - exactly like the one my great aunt used to have - and they go for a song!

How to use a pie bird

Pie Plates

You'll need pie plates or pie dishes for your pie too.

Portmeirion is Pretty as a Picture

Portmeirion Pottery was founded by the pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis in 1960. Susan Williams-Ellis had worked with A.E. Gray commissioning designs to sell at the gift shop in Portmeirion Village, "Gray's Pottery Portmeirionware".When a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd,was purchased, two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries came into being.

Spode is a Stoke-on-Trent based pottery company, founded by Josiah Spode in 1770. Josiah Spode is famed for perfecting under-glaze blue transfer printing in 1783-1784, leading to the launch of Spode's Blue Italian range in 1816.

Spode also developed the production and marketing of fine bone china, Britain's attempt to mimic the fine, translucent porcelain from China.

On 23 April 2009 Portmeirion Potteries Ltd purchased the Royal Worcester and Spode brands, after their parent company had been placed into administration the previous November. Portmeirion Potteries has since changed its company name to Portmeirion Group to reflect this acquisition and the manufacture of much of Spode's ware was returned to the Portmeirion Group's factory in Stoke-on-Trent.

Portmeirion's most recognised design is the Botanic Garden range was launched in 1972. The pottery was decorated with a variety of floral motifs and patterns inspired by botanical illustrations. Always popular and still made today.

Portmeirion Pie Dishes - Say it with flowers

You can really tell that Portmeirion is one of my all-time favourites!

Knock the Spots off Shopping - Bunzlauer Polish Pie Dishes

Bunzlauer stoneware is made in Boleslawiec, Poland. It is fired at temperatures above 2,300 degrees F to produce a beautiful but tough product that's lead-free, safe oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. The dishes all have the artisan's signature initials and unique Zaklady back stamp

EuroQuest Imports Bunzlauer Polish Pottery Traditional Pie Plate in Country Blue Pattern
EuroQuest Imports Bunzlauer Polish Pottery Traditional Pie Plate in Country Blue Pattern

Fun polish polka dot patterns never go out of fashion, and always make a splash. Brighten up any table with a traditional blue polkadot pie dish


Lenox Butterfly Pie Dishes - Flutter By These Pie Dishes

A Taste of Summer and with one click of the mouse and they could be winging their way to you!

Since 1889, Lenox has created gifts, tableware, and collectibles for U.S. presidents, dignitaries and had the honour of providing the first American china to be used in the White House. Over the years, our original focus on fine tableware has broadened to include casual collections in stoneware and earthenware, crystal stemware, and flatware. Butterfly Meadow china dinnerware, based on the artistry of Louise Le Luyer, features monarchs, tiger swallowtails, orange sulphurs, other winged species, and even dragonflies. Butterfly Meadow is the most popular casual dinnerware pattern in America.

Limousin porcelain pie dishes

I live in Limousin in S W France, only about 50 minutes from the ancient town of Limoges. The area is famous for two things, its Limousin cattle and its prized porcelain. The manufacturing methods of this fine, strong porcelain, was once a secret jealously guarded by the Chinese, but slowly the western world discovered how to make it themselves; they lacked but the essential raw ingredients.

The articles below trace this story and the history behind Limoges Porcelain, opening up a world of culture, commerce, collectable items and, of course, pleasure and beauty.

Bid for Limoges Porcelain on eBay

Limoges Porcelain Pie Dishes on eBay are quite rare so might not show up in this search. Instead I've chosen a vintage plate to serve your pie on.

Limoges is the capital of Limousin and is world famous for its beautiful, fine but strong porcelain. There are so many boutiques and factory outlets producing an amazing range of beautiful ceramics ranging from the modern to traditional styles.

Clafoutis Cherry Pie Shaped Limoges Porcelain Box! - Nice as pie ... but fewer calories

A 'slice of pie' Limoges Porcelain box

Limoges, in S W France, only about an hour from our guest house and gite, is famous for it's strong but fine, translucent porcelain. Perhaps most popular of all are the small and charming collectable boxes. Ranging from a few pounds to, well, quite a few, they come in an astonish range.Although the egg-shaped boxes are perhaps the most famous of the Limoges porcelain box range, you can find them in an amazing array of shapes and sizes - cute, funny, charming and elegant.

One of the best things about these boxes is that you can secrete something even more precious inside. Pretty, quirky, but always adorable, these little trinket boxes are small enough to carry or send by post but show a big amount of love!

Slice of Pie Limoges Box
Slice of Pie Limoges Box

Limoge porcelain boxes are world famous and I was so pleased to find this Slice of Pie porcelain box. Looks delicious!


I Bet Mae West Was a Great Fan of Pies

Screenshot of Mae West from the trailer for the film I'm No Angel
Screenshot of Mae West from the trailer for the film I'm No Angel | Source

Love Pie But Hate Cooking?

You can still indulge your pie-love in so many ways!

Mae West says "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful," so what are you waiting for? She's a gal after my own heart! Here are a few of her other food-orientated quotes:


"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." (Don't resist those gorgeous pies!)

"I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure." (Try these pies over and over again - just in case!)

"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I've never tried before." (So go ahead, be a little devil and try something new)

"I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond." (Well, not sure diamonds are as nutritious - cook yourself a healthy vegetable pie)

" I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far"

Image: Screenshot of Mae West from the trailer for the film I'm No Angel, 1933

No Time to Bake Your Own Pies? - The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach ....

OK - Mom and apple pie and all that stuff is great but everyone is so busy these days so you might just need a pie shortcut. You can order all kinds of delicious pies on line and simply pop them on a beautiful dish. So if you're looking for a pie gift to quell that hunger but can't cook - cheat and buy on-line!

Classic Cherry Pie

Still Not Made Your Mind Up?

Mae West said: "He who hesitates is a damned fool!"

What Do You Think About Pie Birds and Pie Dishes? - Happy holidays!

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    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 10 months ago from France

      Thanks for this message, Frances, and pleased you found it interesting. Pigeon pie - a taste of times gone by! Do come back and let me know how you got on.

    • Frances Metcalfe profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 11 months ago from The Limousin, France

      We love pigeon. Now I've had success with pastry, it's definately one for the pie dish.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 5 years ago from US

      Back to bless ;) Great selection!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      These are soooooooo cute!!!!! I definitely want at least one!!!! Blessed!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @BestForTheMoneyz: Thanks for dropping by, BestForTheMoneyz.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @TonyPayne: They do seem to be a thing of the past, but perhaps they're ejoying a renaissance! I'd live to think so.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      We never make pies these days and don't have a pie bird, but my Mum used to make wonderful pastry and used to make wonderful pies. She always used a pie bird, so this brought back great memories.

    • BestForTheMoneyz profile image

      BestForTheMoneyz 5 years ago

      very cool lens, def like worthy :) keep up the good job

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Bellezza-Decor: They're cute, useful and cheap. Great little gifts and stocking fillers. So pleased you liked them.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @OhMe: Thanks OhMe. I was so pleased to rediscover them.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      You've displayed so many beautiful pie dishes and the pie birds are adorable!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      The first time I heard of this little pie bird was a few months ago, and just loved it. Your pie is beautiful. I wish I could make pies look like that. As always, I learn something new from you every time I read your work.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      What a wonderful treasure to find your grandmother's recipes. Great selection of Pie Birds and Pie Pans and dishes.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      @Sylvestermouse: Drat, Sylvestermouse, this lens came too late! Many thanks for your lovely little story.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      I love beautiful pie plates and the little pie birds! Would you believe I gave all of the women in our family pie birds and a pie plate for Christmas a few years ago. I had visions of them baking :) Truly, they all bake except one, but I simply could not leave her out on the gifts.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      My mother baked with a pie funnel but I never have. I might just get her a pie bird, those look kinda fun.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      Love the little pie birds. So cute! Merry Christmas.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      My husband is our cook and I think he'd love one of those pie birds as a stocking stuffer. Thanks for the idea. Merry Christmas!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 6 years ago

      Great lens, it is really impressive! I like it.

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 6 years ago

      I'm not really into cooking, but my dad loves making pies. This would make him a great gift.

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      Nice ideas. :) These are pretty unique gift suggestions! I am thinking of buying one for my mum.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      very nice lens, thanks for sharing

    • modernchakra profile image

      modernchakra 6 years ago

      I didn't even know what a pie bird was until this lens! Thank you!

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 6 years ago

      My mother had the same type of bird to put in her pies. Christmas in France is great. I lived there for a few years. Your guest house sounds charming.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 6 years ago

      I had never heard of a pie bird before. How unique! =)

    • profile image

      emilienathonson 6 years ago

      awesome lens! i always look forward to getting kitchenware during the holidays, its something i don't like splurging on myself

    • GabStar profile image

      GabStar 6 years ago

      Interesting lens, good work

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @choosehappy: Many thanks for your blessing Squidoolinepro. Much appreciated.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @TravelingRae: It seems to be an English or British thing, Rae. They are so charming though and nice pieces to collect. Thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      TravelingRae 6 years ago

      This lens is the perfect example of a powerful intro image. I only clicked because I couldn't figure out what I was looking at and tried to imagine why anyone would want to put a bird figurine in their pie!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @JoyKitten: I wonder if it's valuable? They are great collector's items these days.

    • AshwinSajith LM profile image

      AshwinSajith LM 6 years ago

      Thanks for the share :)

    • senditondown profile image

      Senditondown 6 years ago from US

      Never saw a pie funnel before. Great idea and wonderful little gift Thanks.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 6 years ago from US

      Blessed ;)

      Have a great week!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      The pie made me hungry. Thanks for sharing.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Pie is my favorite dessert and of the items included here would fit right into my kitchen nicely! :) Congrats on being featured on the monsterboard Gift Guide!

    • profile image

      seedplanter 6 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful lens! I love pie and prefer it to birthday cake. I love the collection of pretty pie plates, and the history of a pie bird was news to me. Thanks for a well-researched and beautiful shopping guide for the holidays. Love it!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      I love the classic pie birds - wonderful lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      ekkoautos 6 years ago

      thanks for sharing this ideas about gifts, the pie bird is sweet

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 6 years ago

      My girlfriend is obsessed with Le Creuset and Pie birds!

    • profile image

      mothersdayflowersmacon 6 years ago

      Great inspiration to get your day started

    • privresearch profile image

      privresearch 6 years ago

      Excellent ideas! Great lens!

    • SiochainGraSonas profile image

      SiochainGraSonas 6 years ago

      I have a couple of pie birds I haven't used in awhile. I think I will use them for my Christmas pies. Great lens!

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 6 years ago

      Very interesting. I am new to Squidoo and it is amazing what you can learn. I've always wondered what pie birds were for, but not being a baker, I never researched it. Have a great day!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @seosmm: It's really best to come to Limousin to buy your porcelain, seosmm

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @JohnMichael2: I'm pleased to hear that you've had such great pie-bird experiences, John.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @AlleyCatLane: One of the good things about Squidoo is that it inspires me to make a bit more effort! Haven't baked a pie for ages, but it was delicious.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 6 years ago from France

      @Scarlettohairy: Many thanks, scarletohairy. Do get baking!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great job! Blessed!

    • profile image

      JoyKitten 6 years ago

      About 30 years ago I bought a black pie bird at a rummage sale. It was probably about 30 years old at that time. I haven't ever used it for baking pies, but it sits on my stovetop as a cheery reminder of olden days.

      Thanks for this great lens full of history and family treasures.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      very lovely, enjoyed my reading tonight.

    • WorldVisionary3 profile image

      WorldVisionary3 6 years ago

      Awesome gift ideas! Thumbs up!

    • profile image

      seosmm 6 years ago

      Lots of good info. Very nice lens! Love the Limoges Porcelain.

    • JohnMichael2 profile image

      JohnMichael2 6 years ago

      Pie Bird! An ex-friend had one and made the best pies with it ... unfortunately, she wasn't the best...

      Great Lens...

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 6 years ago

      Your pie looks fantastic. I can almost tatse it. Nice selection of pie birds and history. too. Blessed.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love your selection of pie birds. Adorable. Makes me want to bake a pie!