Flapper Pie- The Lost Prairie Pie

flapperpie

When you read the title of my newest pie recipe for pie day, you’re most likely going to be in one of two camps.

Either you’re going to scratch your head and think to yourself : “What the devil is flapper pie?”

Or you’re going to think “Wow, now there’s a pie I haven’t heard of in a long time!!”

I’ll give a small percentage of you the chance of falling into the rare category of “Ooh, that’s a family favorite!”

Flapper pie is a long, long time family favorite of my mother’s, mainly because it’s her favorite pie on earth. My mom doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth- I inherited my sweet tooth from my dad- but a few years back my sister discovered that my mom loves a piece of flapper pie above all else.

My mom was in seventh heaven when she found it in a small cafe around Pine Lake Alberta and made sure to visit whenever her and my dad went out to the lake for the weekend.

Flapper pie is a graham crumb crust pie filled with a decadent, creamy custard filling topped with a meringue. It’s so unique to the prairies that if you didn’t grow up here you most likely haven’t ever heard of it. Indeed, perhaps not many Albertans have heard of flapper pie, this is a Manitoba recipe straight from the family archives, one that would have been passed around the farms!

Flapper pie seems to have been popular with my grandma’s generation……then just plainly died out. My mom never made it. I never had it at my friends houses. When I asked around, so few people have heard of it. Even fewer have ever baked it! What once was a staple in prairie kitchens is now a rarity to find, unless you are lucky enough to still find an older generation baking it in their cafe or restaurant, such as the one in Pine Lake.

I don’t ever recall having flapper pie, so even though this is something my mom grew up loving it’s not something we had as kids. My mom isn’t a pie baker, that fell to my grandma and now apparently I’ve taken up the baking mitts and am carrying on the tradition.

If you read last week’s pie day post – Drunken Peach Galette – you’ll know that I spent the week at my sisters. What you also might know if you follow me on Instagram is that my sister and I were up at 9 am baking pies one morning.

This is what Ukrainian women do. We get up. We bake pies. Sometimes in pajamas.

My sister was totally in her pajamas.

I have no pictures because I value my life.

Ingredients For Flapper Pie:

Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham crackers
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
dash of cinnamon

Filling:
2 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Meringue Topping:
3 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of cream of tartar

Kick the tires and light the fires to 350 degrees.

Flapper pie is notorious for being delicious and falling apart easily. It’s very hard to nail it so that it stays together, so be prepared that it won’ t be picture perfect. Using butter in the crust will help solidify it when refrigerated but really, custard and meringue? You know it’s not going to be a clean slice.

Mix all the crust ingredients together, save about 2 tbsp to the side and press the rest into a 10 inch pie plate, in the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate.

Combine the filling ingredients together and cook on a medium heat until it boils and thickens, making sure to stir constantly! Set aside to cool while you make the meringue.

Beat the meringue ingredients together until they form stiff peaks.

Pour the filling into the crust and top with the meringue, making beautiful little spikes that will brown up all lovely on top! Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on the top and slide into a 350 degree oven.

Bake until the meringue browns like below, around 10 minutes but watch it carefully! All ovens are different!

Cool in the fridge and eat the same day. This isn’t a pie that is going to last a few days, meringue topped pies get slimy between the layers. This is best made mere hours before serving.

flapperpie

Now, you can see below that you can get a clean slice.

Unless you are my sister and I and eat it warm out of the oven because when you do, it will collapse.

We didn’t give a hoot if it fell apart. (and it most certainly did)

We wanted that pie. For breakfast.

This was the best Saturday morning breakfast I have ever had. I highly suggest to everyone that you put “eat flapper pie straight from the oven for breakfast” on your bucket lists.

What I have been missing all my life! This is definitely a favorite pie now, I’m not sure how or why everything comes together to make such a great pie. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s so darn tasty!

flapperpie

Happy Pie Day everyone! I really hope you all try this recipe, what a truly lost prairie pie this is and I really don’t understand why! It’s so simple yet decadent. If nothing else, add it to your archives to try one day and pass it on to your kids! I know I will be including this at family meals a lot know, knowing it’s a childhood favorite of my mom’s.

Have a fabulous weekend all!

Love,

The I Want a Piece of Flapper Pie For Breakfast Again Magpie

Flapper Pie- The Lost Prairie Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Delicious old fashioned Flapper Pie, a true Canadian prairie classic!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1¼ cups graham crackers
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Filling:
  • 2½ cups of milk
  • ½ cup of white sugar
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • Meringue Topping:
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¼ tsp of cream of tartar
Instructions
  1. Mix all the crust ingredients together, save about 2 tbsp to the side and press the rest into a 10 inch pie plate, in the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate.
  2. Combine the filling ingredients together and cook on a medium heat until it boils and thickens, making sure to stir constantly! Set aside to cool while you make the meringue.
  3. Beat the meringue ingredients together until they form stiff peaks.
  4. Pour the filling into the crust and top with the meringue, making beautiful little spikes that will brown up all lovely on top! Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on the top and slide into a 350 degree oven.
  5. Bake until the meringue browns like below, around 10 minutes but watch it carefully! All ovens are different!
  6. Cool in the fridge and eat the same day. This isn’t a pie that is going to last a few days, meringue topped pies get slimy between the layers. This is best made mere hours before serving.

 

160 comments
Kerry
Kerry

I loooove Flapper Pie!  We had it as kids growing up in Saskatoon!

Kathy
Kathy

Karlynn:


Thanks for the recipe. I had never heard of Flapper Pie until I saw it in an Allrecipes.com e-mail. I wanted to know what it was and looked at it. I am happy to know the history. 


 My mother made this for years and years-and we are not Canadian. It's called "Cream Torte" and it was not baked in a pie dish. She used a small, deep-sided Pyrex casserole dish, and also used Zwieback for the crumb crust and topping. She used the 6-oz box of Nabisco zwieback, along with the butter, sugar, and cinnamon. She saved out 1 cup of it to sprinkle on the top. Otherwise, your recipe is the same as mine. 


Nabisco doesn't make zwieback anymore and to me, it just doesn't taste the same with anything else. I now make my own zwieback using the recipe at King Arthur Flour.

It's spot on Cream Torte now. I can recommend trying it with zwieback.  "Cream Torte" is calling to me now. . . 

Annie Flanagan
Annie Flanagan

Well, I've only been a Canadian for 43 years and moved directly to Northern Alberta where I encountered it at some of the cafes and diners in the north:  made, of course, by the Chinese cooks every time.  It's not just our northern prairies that lay claim to this:  my grandma made it for us frequently and it was a staple of the Oklahoma farmhouses of her childhood, along with double boiler cooked custard coconut cream pie :).

Karen2014
Karen2014

We used to make this at the Bessborough Hotel (Saskatoon).  It was always one of the first pies to sell out!  Will be making this the first chance I get!!  

patsharkey
patsharkey

My husband is a Flapper Pie expert and says this is a great recipe.  I will be serving this for his birthday today.  thanks a bunch.  It has been 24 years before I had him tell me this is the best flapper pie recipe I have ever made, just like his Moms!

Camille
Camille

Txs for the recipe! Ate flapper pie all my life in Ferland ,SK! My daughter in law (from Regina)surprises me with one every chance she gets! Yum! Txs for the recipe

Debra
Debra

My mom is from Alberta and we grew up as kids eating it here in BC, but most people have never heard it it. Still one of our favorites and now my kids ask me to bring it for family gatherings

BredbornraisedAlbertan
BredbornraisedAlbertan

You have NOT had flapper pie till you have had Lemon Flapper Pie........My Mom used to make it. It ROCKED. Hhhmmm, sadly her recipes(cookbooks) were misplaced. Guess I'll have to get creative...

Llinse
Llinse

People, this recipe was on the side of the graham cracker crumb box - yes, that was many years ago.  Brian is right you need to bake the crust first, .then add the cooled filling (yes, it was left on the counter to cool) when putting the meringue on top make sure to seal the meringue to the edge of the crust and final hint, use whole milk and real butter and sugar.  It is so good and remember it is a treat.  In our house my non-baking mother would make two pies, she would cut it into 4th's you got a quarter of pie for supper and before bed, the other pie was cut.  I have no idea if the pie would keep overnight.  I have tried making it with 1% and lite butter but it does not taste anything like the real, made in the 50's pie.

Brian Champlin
Brian Champlin

Hi Karlynn

My Mother made no this wonderful pie every weekend while we were growing up.

The recipe that I have has been passed along from generation to generation since the early 1800's.

In our recipe, the crust is baked for eight minutes, then the filling is added and the pie is left to cool; about three hours (not in the fridge) and then the meringue is added and baked for ten minutes.

Try it this way and the crust will stay together.

Brian Champlin

Rosemary
Rosemary

Thanks for sharing! I grew up eating this pie in Ontario...but my Mom called it "Graham Wafer pie"...the recipe was on the side of the graham wafer box at one time.


Badgerbluff
Badgerbluff

So, do you actually mix all the filling ingredients together and cook that way, or cook all but the beaten egg yolks, then add them after filling has cooked and started to thicken?

Carole Clark
Carole Clark

yummy.  This is available at Vi's Pies in Edmonton Alberta.   Not just a Manitoba recipe - very much a Saskatchewan and Alberta favorite.   

eileen
eileen

I remember flapper pie as a child growing up in Manitoba.  I printed the recipe and plan to give it a try.  One question ... #1 in the Instructions refers to making the crust and not the topping correct?

Karen
Karen

Hi Karlynn, just a quick note to help those of us who don't bake as much and might be confused. In both places where your instructions are listed, you have written "Mix all the topping ingredients" instead of "Mix all crust ingredients. " I have never made meringue, so I was thinking, "Oh, you have to refrigerate it before you beat it" until I read it through a second time. :)

Randy
Randy

In our community in Alberta, a few families made flapper pie but not very often.  I remember my first flapper pie, which was a a box social at the community hall.  I do not remember whose box lunch I bid and won but I do remember the flapper pie.

Caroline
Caroline

it was really neat to read about the cafe that you went to in the pinelake area i was the cook at the campground green acres and made all the pies for years they called me the pie lady before i started it was another elderly lady that taught me to make the flapper pie and i to this day still make it and many other pies great to read your story 


Muriel Park
Muriel Park

Lots of people in BC are originally from the prairies and I am sure are familiar with this delicious pie

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

Brenda I love that story, thank you for sharing it! That's too funny and cute!

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

You are welcome Angela! I hope you bake it up soon! Such a Canadian classic!

Linda Mack
Linda Mack

I still make it ... simply a comfort food !!

Beth Russell
Beth Russell

I love it too...and have made a few in the last couple years. Everyone loves it

Ellen Chychul
Ellen Chychul

When I was a child, our little community had Friday night skating parties where we got together with friends to skate on the outdoor rink, complete with music and lights. The women provided lunch as a fund raiser, and I always had a hot dog and flapper pie. These were rare treats and I was sure I'd died and gone to heaven. It's still my favourite.

Theresa May
Theresa May

I grew up in Moose Jaw, SK and my mom made this pie, now I live in Alberta where no one has heard of it. I had a hankering and made one last month, delicious, family loved it and it was gone in no time! Now after reading this, I need another one!

Hayley Teague
Hayley Teague

Thank you for bringing back great childhood memories of Mom's Flapper Pie! My sister called it cake. :)

Douglas Jameson
Douglas Jameson

An Alberta favourite from my long-ago childhood. Hmmmm.... Time to get busy in the kitchen!

Florence Raabis
Florence Raabis

My Mom made Flapper Pies for years and they were everyones favorite I haven't made one for a long time but I do still have the receipt And yes I am from Alberta aren't we a lucky bunch

Elaine Knuttila
Elaine Knuttila

This is one of my family's favorite. A must have when my kids are home for a visit.

I made this for my Dad before he passed away, he wouldn't eat anything but when I made him some flapper pie he not only ate it but he fed himself.

Deby Bryan
Deby Bryan

Try adding a package of powdered gelatin to the crust ingredients to help stay together

. Works for me!

Leslie Crawford
Leslie Crawford

My mom made this all the time for my father. It is his absolute favorite pie. Now that mom is gone I make it a couple times a year for my dad! And have taught my daughter to make it, so the recipe lives on. My mom was from Sask, and I'm born and raised in Alberta.

Jeanne Renee Nolan
Jeanne Renee Nolan

A very similar pie, served in a pastry casing but without the meringue and with a sprinkling of cinnamon is a traditional South African favourite, known as Milk Tart!

Patricia Gammon Loeppky
Patricia Gammon Loeppky

We use to have this all the time!! My grandmother use to make it , my mom, and even I made it. It is my favourite pie!! Haven't made it for years, thanks for the recipe, as I lost mine!!

Bev Gaudet Huckle
Bev Gaudet Huckle

I love this pie - really a prairie favorite - people in BC don't know what your talking about when you mention FLAPPER PIE - YUM

Jimmy Webb
Jimmy Webb

UMM ! that looks like Pixie Pie !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tammy Wallace
Tammy Wallace

My Mom used to make this pie. we used to love it when she did. I lost her recioe so am glad you posted in here.

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Kathy I think every area has their "cream pie", that's for sure! It's just known as something different in each region! Your Mom's version sounds delicious!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Carole Clark I was JUST there and no flapper pie! I'm going to have to stalk them now lol and ask when they make it! 

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@Karen Haha fixed! It's literally copied straight from my grandma's recipe, so I didn't even think of that, thank you! 

L Lea
L Lea

@Randy A box social! I remember those from my childhood in Alberta!

Kathy
Kathy

@thekitchenmagpie


It's the best! It's a lot more involved now that I have to make the zwieback, but it's worth every second to me.