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
Delicious old fashioned Flapper Pie, a true Canadian prairie classic!
Author:
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
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.

 

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57 comments
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 


CindyWaltersBuscholl
CindyWaltersBuscholl

Funny story - Flapper Pie is my dad's favorite. My mom asked me to make one for him when I was home visiting one weekend. We get out all the ingredients only to find we're short on milk. We send Dad out to pick up some milk while I get started on making the crust. Milk in hand I start making that delicious custard filling. I'm stirring and suddenly things start to bubble up and up, and up, and up...I had to rush the kettle to the sink before it was ALL over the stove. What the heck? A quick check of the ingredients...Mom had given me baking soda instead of corn starch. :O Dad made another trip for more milk...His mouth had been watering waiting for that Flapper Pie. Oh my but that was a tasty pie! Once we had all the right ingredients! :-D we still giggle about that 30+ years later

BevHagel
BevHagel

I remember making these pies at harvest time for the combine crews in central Saskatchewan.  We made lots of them because the ingredients were plentiful and cheap. We didn't put the meringue on them though, but served dollops of whip cream and strawberries right out in the field.  

I have come across them all across the prairies at hockey rinks and auction sales.  Brings back lots of memories!  Thanks for the  :)

Penny
Penny

Hate to disillusion you but my grandmother came straight to the Okanagan Valley from England in 1914 and always made this pie for us - often in the Fall - usually Thanksgiving.   

MissDeja
MissDeja

I don't make pies often - usually just for holidays -  but when I read this post, memories of being a young girl came flooding back, and I got up from my chair and just made it! ... I grew up in a little AB prairie town, and a friends mom would make this sometimes when I would eat supper with them and I LOVED it!

I made one little change which added lovely flavour to the custard - I added 2 Tbsp of butter to it as soon as I took it off the heat, similar to what my butterscotch pie recipe calls for.

Thank you for posting this - I'm thrilled to share a little bit of the prairies with my NB family :)

Ileana
Ileana

I also grew up on Flapper pie, it is still my favorite.

My mother used the recipe that used to be on the back of the graham cracker box

when they took that off the recipe got lost, I am very happy to have found recipe that is

just as good as I remember.

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

I like that name for Flapper pie, what a great memory that is!

erinseanpatrick
erinseanpatrick

My Momma would call this (famously), "Tuesday Pie"!  So named because it was just a middle of the week dessert, nothing fancy. It is DIVINE!!!


jcgf122
jcgf122

so excited to see this recipe.  Had my first and only slice of Flapper Pie when I was 10 and have been longing for a second ever since.  Now, 35 years later, I have a recipe and a plan to bake this weekend.  THANK YOU

CassieTollin
CassieTollin

Alberta Born and Raised! My grandma makes this pie and it is definitely my favorite! Thank you for sharing your recipe! I did not realize it was an "Alberta Pie" I know when I mention it no one knows what I am talking about! 

audrey
audrey

I grew up on this pie although not for breakfeast.  When I got older my daughter and I would request this for our birthday instead of cake.  So we have birthday pie instead of cake, we would have it no other way! The pie would only make it through one sitting because the three of us would not stop eating till it was all gone.   My mother is from Newfoundland and has no connection to the prairies.

Kevin Monahan
Kevin Monahan

My mom made it all the time and since she passed I haven't seen it so went searching and found your site. Am going to make it myself as it was a favorite of mine 35 yrs ago Thanks Kevin

liz63
liz63

something is missing in the ingredients  tried it and taste bland

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

Grammyof4boys I love the responses I received for this recipe. It seems to bring back memories for everyone, a true Canadian prairie classic pie!

grammyof4boys
grammyof4boys

I remember Flapper Pie and have always thought it to be one of my favorites. I haven't had it for years, and this post brings back the memories. Thanks for the recipe, will surely try it soon!!!

Rob Nutter
Rob Nutter

you are so funny,making flapper pie tomorrow for christmas.havn,t made it since I was in highschool foods class.

 

Rob Nutter chef extrordinare,Castlegar BC

KimberleyMann
KimberleyMann

I grew up making and eating this pie. I learned it whilst growing up in Red Deer AB. We also baked the crust for 10 minutes before adding filling.

Alberta Rose
Alberta Rose

The Alberta way is to bake the crust for 5 to 7 minutes, cool and then finish the pie. It doesn't break apart then.

 

Lindaliz63
Lindaliz63

You use to get  Flapper Pie at a cafe located between Innisfail and Red Deer Alberta. My last 2 visits out west we went there 2-3 times for the pie and going back in January and will be there again. My Mom was raised in Innisifail and we have family there.  She used to make this years ago.

happy guest
happy guest

Our grandparents came to Alberta in the late 1800's from other parts of Europe. They made flapper pie too. It is our favorite pie as well. After checking recipes, I landed on your page here. It's a sweet site. I'm going to surf it from my living room in Calgary. Thank you..

Laura MacDonald
Laura MacDonald

My mom grew up on a farm around Medicine Hat, flapper pie is on of her favs.

Kelti
Kelti

Saskatchewan here!.. You may have more success with your pie filling if you bring the milk and sugar to a boil slowly whisking in corn starch...once it boils break in egg yolks and keep stirring at a ow medium heat until it thickens...add vanilla once you remove off heat.

CookTheStory
CookTheStory

Hmmm...I'm Manitoban and I have not heard of this. I feel like I'm missing out on some part of my heritage. I'm going to post to FB now and hope that this brings back some nice memories for my Manitoban friends and family. The pie looks and sounds deelish, btw.

karacooks
karacooks

Interesting. I've never heard of Flapper Pie, but the recipe sounds exactly like the standard cream pie recipe that I use. I normally top mine with whipped cream but I've seen it topped with meringue as well. 

 

I also use this recipe w/ about half the cornstarch when making pudding - less cornstarch makes it set up less. Then add bananas and 'nilla wafers for Southern style banana pudding. :)

Kandice Martinez
Kandice Martinez

Mmmm, flapper pie is one of my all time Faves! Brings back really great memories of my Grandma It is also my Mom's fave but she says its hard to find a place that makes a good one. Might have to try this recipe myself and surprise her :)

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Yay Breanne! I love to hear more people are tackling pies! Pastry still gives me a hard time too on occasion, its a learning process for sure! And eating the practice pies is an ok deal ;)

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Linda it sure is a generational pie, isn't it? It's a pie I think should be brought back into todays kitchens! Easy and soooo 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! 

gramakimmy
gramakimmy

@Penny  Recipes are shared between friends and friends of friends.  It could have easily traveled between friends and relatives to everywhere.  I lived in Okanogan and Oroville.  Our house in Oroville was 2 miles from the Canadian border.  Most people people I knew crossed the border for various reasons.  So no one needs to be disillusioned.  I love the recipe exchanges and sharing stories.  Sometimes it's like connecting the dots. lol


thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@MissDeja  It's comments like yours that make what I am doing so worth all the work! I just love hearing from readers, especially when it's beautiful comments and memories like this <3

gramakimmy
gramakimmy

@erinseanpatrick I wonder if that was like when my mother in law had baking bread day, pie day, laundry day, putting food "up".  Meaning canning and other food storage.  I used to think that was pretty funny and clever too.  Production often key, with her family. lol 

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

 @karacooks Flapper pie is definitely a Canadian term for this pie! The bananas sound soooo yummy!

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