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Sunday, July 25, 2010

What on earth is a pie steamer casserole?

Pictured above is a "Pie Steamer Casserole" by Old Mountain. It's between 2 and 3 quarts. The lid is checkered, like the top of a cherry pie.

Product info indicates that it's used for "pie steamer casseroles," and for putting on top of a wood stove with scented water, to humidify and freshen the air.

At $40, you better believe I'd want to cook in it, not just freshen the air. Actually, Old Mountain's 4 quart covered casserole is $40, a much better value.

This item may be discontinued. It's "back ordered" on a lot of sites. Maybe it's a hot item.

My question is, what on earth is a pie steamer casserole? My guess is, any casserole that's made in this pan. I can't find the answer anywhere.

I've found online a couple of recipes for "pie steamer," which appear to be a hot beverage made with flavored syrups and milk. No casseroles.

And I found the definition of a pie steamer: A ceramic thing you put in the center of your fruit pie to release steam during baking and keep the fruit from bubbling out of the crust.

OK, but that still doesn't tell me what a pie steamer casserole is.

Anyway, here's a casserole recipe for you. You don't need the above pot to cook this casserole, nor to call it a "pie steamer casserole!"

Boil elbow macaroni and put it in the pot. Mix in leftover chicken or tuna, cream of chicken soup, green beans, bread crumbs. Top with more bread crumbs and shredded cheese. Into the oven at 350.

The plot thickens. I found other cast iron "steamer / casserole" pans, with a similar checkered top, marketed for use on the stove to humidify or freshen the air, OR to make a casserole.

Now I get it: This product is a cast iron steamer / casserole, and it kind of looks like a pie. Hence "pie steamer casserole". Mystery solved!

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