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Flapper Pie- The Lost Prairie Pie

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.

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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.

a slice of Flapper Pie- The Lost Prairie Pie in a plate on turquoise background

Flapper Pie Recipe

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!” 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.

close up of Flapper Pie slice in a plate ready to be enjoy!

What is Flapper Pie?

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.

close up of Flapper Pie in a plate and in the baking pan ready to be enjoy!

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.

close up of Flapper Pie in a plate and in the baking pan ready to be enjoy!

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!

Flapper Pie in a plate and in the baking pan on turquoise background

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

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.
5 from 58 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
pies
Servings
6
Calories
430
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients
 

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 dash cinnamon

Filling

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt

Meringue Topping

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

A traditional prairie pie!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 430kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 265mg, Potassium: 222mg, Sugar: 51g, Vitamin A: 530IU, Calcium: 144mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Ashley says

    I made this flapper pie this morning. It turned out great and tasted amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe!5 stars

  2. Jack Spink says

    It’s been ATLEAST 45 years since my mother made me Flapper pie! Otherwise, I’ve not had any until about 3 months ago. I took my granddaughter to ABC Country Family Restaurant then and discovered that it’s on their menu list of deserts! Since then, I been back twice! Oh the memories! Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  3. RJ says

    Very happy to have found this recipe. I use to have it at Salisbury House in Winnipeg. When I moved to Toronto and came back for a visit, my dad asked me where I’d like to go for lunch – Salisbury House!

    I’m back in Winnipeg now but don’t often indulge in it much as the number of Salisbury House locations had dwindled significantly.

  4. Maureen says

    I use the recipe from “A Century of Home Cooking: 1900 through the ’90s,” by Carol Ferguson and Margaret Fraser. This is a terrific book, with chapters on each decade including a general overview of cooking trends as well as recipes. (Flapper Pie is in the chapter on the 1920s.) I have always felt that there was a little something missing from my flapper pie, and I learned from your recipe that the missing thing was A DASH OF SALT! It makes a difference. Thank you.5 stars

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      When a recipe tastes “flat” or something is missing, it’s almost always needing a bit of salt! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  5. marlee says

    I grew up in Manitoba too, and Mum made a delicious Flapper Pie. We loved it! I’m now in Ontario. My sister and brother in law are coming to visit from B.C. tomorrow, and this pie is their favourite. I made one this morning and look forward to serving it when they arrive. Manitoba traditions! A great connection to our childhood all these years later. Thank you for your recipe! Almost identical to my moms from the 40’s. (I remember eating Flapper Pie at Salisbury House in Winnipeg)

  6. Sharon Gretzinger says

    A flapper pie story!
    Flapper pie was an alternate Sunday treat. Blueberry was the competitor.
    We all loved them both.
    So I was away working in California, away from Vancouver, (having moved from Beausejour & Lundar before I started school) Wrote and asked my mom for the Famous Favorite Flapper Pie recipe. She sent it as a list of ingredients in proper amounts but a bit out of order.
    I worked it out and it disappeared before my eyes and there wasn’t a crumb left.

    • randy breiland says

      1/4 cup of corn starch? or 1/4 c mixture in incl cold milk?

  7. Diana says

    My husband just asked for it tonight!! His mom would make it on branding days. (Medicine Hat). He has very fond memories of this dessert. I have promised to produce one before summer is over!

  8. Melissa says

    This is the best flapper pie recipe I’ve found! I cheated and made it with a pre-made crust; not as good as homemade but saved me some sanity over Christmas.

    I’m also a prairie girl; this is my favourite pie and always reminds me of home and holidays. Thank you!5 stars

  9. Genevieve says

    So excited to try this recipe! I’m originally from Manitoba and my great grandma always made it as a treat! I haven’t had it since she made it years ago. it’s one of my favorite pies!!!!!

    • Karen says

      Do not know how it came to be in my mom’s recipe world. She did grow up in a ranch in southern BC, but my dad, long gone, was a young child in Saskatchewan…so maybe that was the influence. I was in my teens when we first started having it. It was my 16th birthday ‘cake’. 💕
      Just thinking of a dessert for Thanksgiving dinner and this came to mind. I have not made it before so fingers crossed…

      • Karen says

        Ok seeing the comments further along…it likely was one my mom took from the graham cracker box!

  10. Bev says

    I made the Chocolate Flapper Pie using a graham crust – recipe was easy to follow and turned out excellent! I’ll be trying the original recipe soon. I very much appreciate the Canadian reference to Flapper Pie and do recall eating it as a child, many years ago. Thanks so much for a great recipe!5 stars

  11. Wendy says

    Grew up in Toronto enjoying Flapper Pie made by Mom and Grandma in the 40s through the 60s. Yummmmm! Making it for a family get together over the holidays — if I can wait that long. Thanks for a fresh copy of the recipe.5 stars

  12. Lynne Lopes says

    I accidently pressed the thumbs down-didn’t mean to!! I’m from Ontario originally so of course I thought what the heck is Flapper Pie? Oh my gosh it sounds wonderful! I’m going to make one gluten free (using gf “grahams”) & then try it Keto for hubby. Thanks for sharing!! Regards, Lynne in Spruce.

  13. Robert Lemire says

    Yes a old school receipe. Mom did make her crust- much similar to the aforementioned. She did bake it shortly in the oven. Cooled and the custard – meringue was a – pay attention to . Am going to try the refrigerated the crust— custard cool- pour over the crust – do the meringue thing- bake not really however- yes the crust to remove the creation from the pan. Sometimes it comes out wonderful other times – oh well. Bottom line excellent – look out tummy here it comes. 🤣

    • Glennyce says

      I think the recipe used to be on the Canadian Cornstarch box when I was young. My Mom also baked the Graham wafer crust for a few minutes in the oven. it held together better.

  14. Diannah says

    I was given this recipe years ago from an ex in-law and its the same as this one posted. Minus the cream of tartar, I find it’s perfect without as well. But I personally like a less stiff meringue. I add an extra egg yolk for a little extra creaminess and then put it through a strainer so there’s no clumps.5 stars

  15. Phyllis Cochrane says

    My mother made this back in the sixties. We are from New Brunswick. If the recipe was on the Graham wafer box, it was probably made all over Canada. It was good then and it is good now 🙂 ….Made one today. If you are familiar with Company’s Coming cookbooks, it is in the dessert cookbook. I used your recipe because I wasn’t sure where that cookbook was. Very similar. I haven’t cut it yet. P

    • Wendy says

      I think you are right, the recipe was on the graham cracker box.

    • Jeanne says

      I am a prairie girl, but I have to admit my mother used the recipe on the Graham wafer box. I made the companies coming recipe several times but this Magpie recipe is better.

      Here in Manitoba, a favourite family restaurant called Salisbury House has featured this pie on their menu for decades.

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