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.

 

183 comments
DeborahAPatterson
DeborahAPatterson

flapper pie is like a little bit of heaven mmmmm good it;s the best


Carol
Carol

Grew up and still live in Alberta. Flapper pie wa one of my Mom's staple desserts. Came from the thirties because it was good but economical.

joanpeterson11
joanpeterson11

LOVE flapper pie. Lived in MB and SK as a kid and I remember it well.  I was fortunate to find it the other day at a little teahouse in rural AB. YUM YUM YUM

PatriciaBoen
PatriciaBoen

had this all the time, we were from Central Sask. Mom always made it with whip cream topping.

Sandra Rosin
Sandra Rosin

I too grew up with flapper pie and like many of the comments below, the recipe we used was on the graham crumb box.  We blind baked the crust first and it's better if it' cool before adding the cooked filling.  Also, I prefer to use 1 1/2 tbsp. of flour and 3 tbsp. of cornstarch to thicken rather than all cornstarch as is in this recipe,  It holds nicely but is softer and not so gelled.  The eggs are better if tempered and added after the filling is hot and then continue to cook until thick, add the butter and vanilla at the very end after you have removed it from the heat.  I do not bother with a double boiler, but stir it continually and manage not to burn it.  When you make the meringue, make sure the egg white are room temp and ten minutes in the oven are way too long....the bit about saving a bit of the crumbs to sprinkle on top is crucial for authenticity in my opinion.  This lovely pie is made and served at the Grey Goose Café in Kitchener, BC and is very popular so be sure to stop in if you are driving the Kootenays.

candasjd
candasjd

I adore flapper pie. Thanks for the recipe. My mom, who died last Saturday halfway through her 100th year, made a wonderful flapper pie. You're right that it is a prairie-only thing. The recipe was on the graham wafers box at one point.

Phoebes
Phoebes

Flapper Pie has always been on the menu at the Salisbury House in Winnipeg, where you can have it by the slice or buy a whole pie to take home. It's always been a toss up for me which I like better; the Flapper Pie or the Sals chocolate dipped spicy cake donuts. Yum! So happy to have the recipe. Thanks.

BruceJamieson
BruceJamieson

You certainly brought back memories.  My mother was a "flapper" of sorts in the late 1920s early '30s, and in the Kelvington Saskatchewan area, with her own dance band, and made us this pie throughout the 50s and 60s.  Here is a picture of her and the band outside of the telephone exchange (my grandfather's business) in Kelvington, circa 1932.  Cheers to you and your enjoyable blog.

BruceJamieson
BruceJamieson

@thekitchenmagpie @BruceJamieson Thank you.  Her name was Nora Haney, and she married my dad, Alex Jamieson towards the end of WWII.   They both served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.  Her grandfather was Horace Hartley Haney, who supervised the construction of many trestle bridges for the CPR as it went out west to join up with the branch coming through the Rockies from Vancouver.  He also built the first schoolhouse in Calgary, and at the time, the Duhamel/Battle River rail bridge in the Camrose area of Alberta which was the world's biggest trestle bridge for a while.  Nice to share these things with you.  

momof3
momof3

I'm from BC and this is an old family tradition of my Gramdma's.... She was born and raised in BC too! No one else here seems to know about it, but it is a holiday favourite in our family. Because my Grandma made it, her 3 daughters never needed to! So, now I'm the pie maker! I was asked to make pies for Easter dinner on Sunday and I sent a poll out for what kind everyone wanted ... overwhelmingly everyone sent back Flapper, of course! Love it! This is pretty much exactly my Grandma's recipe.

Spoonlicker
Spoonlicker

Yah. Thad'd be lemon meringue pie with lemon swapped pout for vanilla.

campercats
campercats

My Mom made this all the time when I was growing up in a small town in Manitoba. I made this for my children, who also could not wait until it cooled, diving into it and demolishing it in one night.   Now, in BC I make this for my poor friends who had never heard or tasted this delicacy before and I have many converted BCiters who are in love with this pie.  I could not believe that they had never heard or tasted this before!!!!

Thanks for you post.   I stumbled upon it looking for this recipe as \I had misplaced mine.


bcuthbert62
bcuthbert62

I had forgotten about the Flapper Pie....I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba and have enjoyed the Flapper Pie which was a hot item on Salisbury House menu boards.  Growing up in the North End of Winnipeg, it was a staple pie for us.  I will definitely try the recipe and thanks for the blast from the past!!! :)

Deb
Deb

We grew up having lemon meringue in "flapper" crust. Mom blind baked the crust til just golden brown and it would stay together much better.

dwall
dwall

I got my recipe from my grandma who is originally from Treadwell, Ontario and lived mostly in Hamilton, Ontario...no idea where she got the recipe but I grew up eating this, thanks to my mom!  The measurements vary slightly but the ingredients are the same.  Mind you she never put meringue on it but I bet it's just as good!

Nic Pound
Nic Pound

I'm in the rare category of Flapper Pie being a family favourite. My mum always used to make it, mostly for special occasions. I'm 53 and my mum is 81 and still baking and we are British, living in the UK. She always knew it was a Canadian recipe, but I'll have to ask her again how she first came about it. The only difference that my mum makes to your recipe is the addition of a layer of mashed banana underneath the custard, but apart from that, it's identical. Lovely seeing this post, thanks for sharing

Tom
Tom

My Grandmother grew up in Winnipeg, and lived there until 1910ish.  We'd have Flapper pie for Sunday dinners many times during the year.  My brothers and I were spoiled to have her living with us!!  You've brought back some wonderful memories, now to the kitchen to make one!!!  Tom.

JudyDesfosses
JudyDesfosses

I grew up eating Flapper Pie in southern Saskatchewan, but my mom made it with brown sugar. I loved it! Have you tried Sour Cream Pie?

Janet Johnston Rude
Janet Johnston Rude

Flapper Pie was a preferred dessert at Sunday dinners in my family growing up in Alberta. Though my mother would also make it with butterscotch filling as well. I've continued the tradition and have made it for years for my children who love it!

Gloria Sponselee
Gloria Sponselee

This recipe for "Flapper Pie" was on the back of the Graham Cracker box when I was growing up.  

At Christmas, my mom always made two each of everyone's favourite pie.  Although the others were the traditional ones; apple, mincemeat, cherry and lemon meringue,  my dad's favourite was favourite was "Flapper Pie".   Fond memories

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. . . 

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!

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. 


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.   

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! 

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. :)

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! 

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.

L Lea
L Lea

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

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