The pie funnel, also known as pie ventilator or pie hen, as the Americans like to call it, is a past due Victorian utensil. They had been designed to save you the juices spilling onto the pastry or the ground of the oven and additionally to aid the pie crust and prevent it from sagging.
The first recorded pie funnel turned into manufactured in 1880 with the aid of Dean and Morris and it turned into made in 3 sizes. Since then 44 different patents and registered designs were recorded in Britain and many of these can nevertheless be bought these days. One of the earliest recorded figures became a blackbird, registered in 1933 in Australia by using Grace Seccombe as a Pie Crust Lifter. A J Wilkinson (Clarice Cliff) registered a blackbird funnel design in 1936 and a lot of those had been produced, inclusive of the all white wartime model – a few were stamped Wilkinson, Newport Pottery or, later, Midwinter.
Before the arrival of the pie funnel human beings might have used an egg cup or even a stick of macaroni. As pies are available in distinct sizes and depths so do funnels and they had been regularly produced in units. Among these units are the Adcock Crust Support, Ventilator and Fountain. These early funnels regularly had wide chimneys for venting the steam from under the crust, however additionally for adding extra stock to the pie at some stage in the lengthy, slow cooking manner.
If you want to acquire pie funnels you are in luck as once upon a time each family in Britain could have had one or several of those. As diet and cooking patterns have modified during the last 20 years the pie funnel is not an normal object and might be caught someplace in the back of a cabinet or drawer.
Some pie funnels have fetched quite excessive charges however you must be able to begin a set for a small amount of cash. Check out your neighborhood auctions and automobile boot sales and you need to be able to get a number of the obvious pie funnels pretty affordably. You may additionally need to check out the internet auction websites as these are beneficial for discovering expenses.
Some of the famous china producers consisting of Spode, Royal Worcester, Denby, Shelley and Grimwade have all produced pie funnels on a industrial basis but it become Grimwade that produced the widest style of designs, 5 of that are patented or layout registered. Among them are the ‘figural elephant pie funnel/ring holder’, which changed into produced in white and gray, to the last ‘Bleriot Pie Divider’ produced in three specific sizes, which separated the pie dish into elements in order that two one-of-a-kind meats or culmination may be baked within the same pie. Each of these dividers came with their own unique patented pie dish.
‘The Improved Pie Funnel’ changed into produced by means of Grimwade and it’s far quite rare and it sold so well that an updated model become produced and named ‘The Improved Popular Pie Funnel’. These got here in diverse sizes, advertising early grocery and china stores in addition to department stores around the arena, from T W Robinson Co Ltd of Moose Jaw in Canada to Ritchies of Dunedin in New Zealand as well as from all around the UK.
While the majority of pie funnels are crafted from pottery there is also quite a selection crafted from Pyrex glass, aluminium and plastic. The majority of the early examples were produced commercially by way of large potteries that manufactured a wide variety of white ware, but later the smaller potteries produced limited variations of actual works of art. In the leading edge turned into Stuart Bass, who has produced over 300 different designs for the reason that mid-1970s.
A e book known as British Pie Funnels has been produced to try and fill in a number of the gaps regarding the traditional British pie funnel as there was little written on the subject. This gives a reachable background for any new or experienced collector and a number of the illustrations must prove beneficial when identifying the numerous pieces.