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Cooking glossary

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Pie funnel

A small ceramic funnel which is placed on the filling of a pie, before the pastry lid is put in position. The funnel allows steam to escape during baking and prevents pastry cracking or turning soggy or the pie filling bubbling out. Before covering the filling with the pastry, place the funnel in the centre of the filling, cut a small cross in the centre of the lid and lay it over the dish so that the funnel pokes through the cross. An alternative to using a pie funnel is to cut a steam hole in the centre of the pastry lid, before baking, with a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen scissors.