Flapper Pie- The Lost Prairie Pie

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

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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- The Lost Prairie Pie

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

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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.

5 from 23 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

  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.

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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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Ali Dietrich says

    Michelle Dietrich you can also make this lol

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      I think everyone had a mom or grandma that made this!

  2. Susan Muir Myers says

    What are Graham crackers sweet or savory I’m thinking more likely sweet but just asking

  3. Janie Lawrence Cilo says

    I am smiling to myself as I write this. First of all, my eldest daughter recently asked me to bake a flapper pie for her and secondly, my paternal grandfather, Henry Frank Lawrence, settled our family home, Sabre Ranch in 1986, at, of all places, Pine Lake Alberta. The ranch is still a going concern now in its fourth generation.

    I have lived in Denver, CO for my entire adult life but both my children know flapper pie well! I now have American grandchildren and a son-in-law who loves this too.

    Thank you for posting your recipe, Karolyn. It is spot on with the one I make. In my opinion, the only other pie recipe that comes even remotely close is a Southern recipe called Chess pie. However, I always found when eating chess pie, that I spent the entire time wishing it were flapper pie instead!

    Thanks so much for putting a smile on my face,

    Janie Lawrence Cilo

    Denver, CO

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Janie Lawrence Cilo AW that was wonderful to read! Did you see my cookbook that is ready to order?  This Flapper Pie recipe inspired the book!

  4. Kristin says

    Love this pie. It’s one of my dad’s favorites (born in Camrose) and his mother used to make it often. Just a quick tip: if you make the meringue before the custard then put it on while the custard is hot, being sure to seal the edges, you can make a pie that does stick together and doesn’t have that layer of water between custard and meringue. Best of luck!

  5. Diane Waugh says

    We make it too, though not often and… love it warm!!!  Somehow the recipe got lost so I was thrilled to find this on my facebook page… thanks for posting it

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Diane Waugh Oh yes, it’s a great warm pie too! See? Breakfast! 

  6. YYCDOT says

    I LOVE flapper pie and am one of those who had not heard of it for many many years! Thanks for reminding me of this childhood favourite.

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      @YYCDOT Hope that you made it and loved it!

  7. EricBalcom says

    Never have a Birthday with out my Flapper Pie , best served after a night in the re-frig . 4 different ways to have the top 

  8. Kowboy says

    Flapper pie used to be on the menu of virtually every small town prairie cafe and restaurant. Fortunately, my mother (long passed) also used to make it. In my opinion, if you haven’t had flapper pie, you haven’t had pie. Simply the best of the best. Unfortunately, it seems to have disappeared from sight. I am glad that you Ukrainian girls are trying to keep the tradition alive. Never had it fresh for breakfast, but sounds great.

  9. Barbara says

    This Flapper Pie recipe made my dad’s day! He kept talking about how his mom made this pie all the time when he was young. He wanted me to make it with a fairly strong cinnamon flavour. He said many people didn’t put much cinnamon, but with his mom’s it was really noticeable, and he said it was throughout the pie, not just in the crust. So, I used 1 tsp of cinnamon in the crust, and 1/4 tsp in the custard….and he said it was just how he remembered it. This is the first time I’ve ever personally tried it, and I have to say I think it is great! I love that it can be made with pantry staples. I also really love that this recipe also led me to this site, which is a treasure trove of recipes I can’t wait to try!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      @Barbara Thank you SO much for telling me this Barbara! I love hearing these stories from everyone, these stories make my heart so happy! Tell your Dad that I am SO thrilled that he loved it!! Welcome to my site!

  10. ElleVancouver says

    My Mom was born just outside Roblin, Manitoba to Ukrainian immigrant parents.  I’m going to have to ask her if she heard about or had it.  I’ve never heard of it but I am going to get my daughter to make it as she has the sweet tooth.  Thanx for posting this!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      ElleVancouver I am sure that she has definitely heard of flapper pie ! Roblin, Manitoba is

      just a hop, skip and a jump from Dauphin where my parents are both from!

  11. keirma says

    My mom still makes Flapper pie about once a month….yummy!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      keirma Lucky you!! It’s definitely a favorite!

  12. Ann from Edson says

    I got this recipe in home ec in central AB many years ago. (I have been married over 52 years so you know it was MANY years ago!) My recipe uses brown sugar instead of white and is my husband’s absolute favorite pie!!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Ann from Edson Oh I bet brown sugar is delicious as well! 

  13. Donald says

    My mom, born and raised in Calgary, got this recipe off the back of the old IBC Graham Wafers box. Does anyone remember IBC Graham Wafers? The box was dark pink and white in color…haven’t seen them around since the ’70s. Seems to me I read that IBC (not sure what that stands for) was based in Winnipeg. Anyway, Flapper Pie was always one of my favourites!

  14. AnneMarieToothill says

    My mom (who was born in 44) got this recipe from her babysitter’s mom who used to make it for them growing up. My mom would make it in a 9 x 13 cake pan and my brothers and I would eat the majority of it that day. Glad to see that the recipe is still floating out there on the web

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      AnneMarieToothill I would LOVE this in a 9×13! That’s a fabulous idea!

      • Linda Bixby says

        thekitchenmagpie AnneMarieToothill – This pie has been a family favorite *forever* – from family dinners to rodeos. I make mine in a 9×13 pan – – making 2-1/2

        to 3 times the filling. I have even made it once in a pan so big – I used 1-1/2 dozen eggs – it turned out fabulous. It was for a big family get to-gether. 

  15. V says

    Grew up with this pie. However it was not called Flapper Pie, just plain ol Custard Pie. I still make one occasionally. have been for the last 40 plus years. Hot the recipe from my Mom.

  16. DeborahAPatterson says

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

  17. Carol says

    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.

  18. joanpeterson11 says

    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

  19. PatriciaBoen says

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

  20. Sandra Rosin says

    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.

  21. candasjd says

    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.

  22. Phoebes says

    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.

  23. BruceJamieson says

    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.

    • jcgf122 says

      BruceJamieson Those photos are awesome!  Thanks for sharing!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      BruceJamieson These are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing these! I love them!

      • BruceJamieson says

        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.  

  24. momof3 says

    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.

  25. Spoonlicker says

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

  26. campercats says

    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.

  27. bcuthbert62 says

    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!!! 🙂

  28. Deb says

    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.

  29. dwall says

    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!

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