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 ¼ cups graham crackers
¼ cup melted butter
½ cup sugar
dash of cinnamon

Filling:
2 ½ 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

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 29 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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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Marika says

    My boyfriend’s dad asked for flapper pie for Father’s Day last year. I didn’t even know what it was, but I found this recipe and made it for him. He raved about it, saying that he hadn’t had flapper pie that good since his grandmother made it for him (who had passed away 20 years ago). Made it numerous times since then, it’s delicious!

  2. Jack Aubin says

    Thanks for posting, I grew up on this pie! I remember having friends over & my mother making us each a pie that we’d eat in one sitting, it was that good! My mom passed away about 10 yrs ago & I had forgotten about this pie. I will be making this soon! Northern Alberta favourite!5 stars

  3. Alison J says

    Very sorry about your mothers passing i guess she was very strong to have lived such a long life. We just lost my mother-in-law last fall, she was born on the prairies . She lived 81, but had been a very healthy strong woman (she would have lived much longer except the Parkinsons she developed meant lots of falls and those injuries shortened her life considerably we think.). Anyway regarding pies – every since I met my husband many years ago he always like to have “graham wafer pie” which he showed me howto make with Jello vanilla pudding, on top of a graham wafer crust (no topping) when he was a bachelor. I had never had this desert before (I am from the BC coast). Anyway his grandparents and his parents were from Saskatchewan! I think this “flapper pie” probably explains it all to me now! Obviously the pie was made from scratch back then, and he had been served something similar by his mother while growing up in Vancouver, and likely by his grandma when he was sebt to Sask as a youngster for several summers to stay/help on the farm. I am not sure why he never mentioned about the meringue except that maybe as a bachelor he didnt understand how to make that part so left it out. Cheers and peace to you as well.

  4. Alison J says

    Do you substitute brown sugar in the crust or in the pudding part?

  5. Katie Culp says

    Sobey’s in Airdrie has flapper pie in their bakery!!!! Mmmmm- instead of merengue topping they use whipped, not sure how authentic that is, but it’s sure yummy!

  6. Karlynn Johnston says

    Oh but you are so missing out on the flavour!

  7. Corinne Muffy Anderson Wiedema says

    My mom made Flapper Pie all the time in the 70’s, one of my favorites. I am going to introduce it to my grown sons, they will hopefully love it. I don’t think I ever made it. Grew up in south eastern Alberta. Thank you for posting the recipe.

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      I am so glad that you found this! I am sure your sons will love it, everyone loves this pie! What a wonderful memory to share with them too!

  8. Susan Arnolde Thomas says

    thank you, thank you….my Aunt Erna made this pie and passed away before i could get the recipe.

    • Karlynn Johnston says

      I’m sorry to hear of her passing, I hope the recipe is close to hers!

  9. DorothyAnnWolfeFraser says

    I’m not an enthusiastic cook……so one day I tried cheating with a flapper pie…..here’s how…..take 1 store bought graham pie crust  put 1 vanilla instant pudding in  top with a  2 egg white merangue and bake for 5 minutes at 350. then I top with whip cream………sorry but I really hate cooking…..lol

  10. DeberahKearns says

    I made flapper pie starting at 5:15 am today. As a teen growing up in BC, I made flapper pie; the recipe was on the graham wafer box.

    Now I’m working at Chapter’s & your book flies off the shelves.

    Am taking the pie to a neighbour’s party tonight. The meringue is perfect.

    Deberah,

    St. Albert, Alberta

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      DeberahKearns Glad to hear the book is flying off shelves!! Have fun at the party tonight, I’m sure everyone will love the pie!!

  11. TracyAnderson says

    I saw you on global this morning and have been reminiscing about flapper pie all day! This was a family favourite when I was growing up! Like so many that have posted here, I haven’t had it in years! I bought your cookbook for one of my foodie friends and am regretting not getting one for me, lol! I did however find my mom’s cut out of the recipe from a honey Maid graham cracker box !

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      TracyAnderson Yay!!! Proof of where it came from! Slightly different amounts but it must still taste just as good!!! Funny it tells you to temper the eggs but I just mix them right in hahah!

  12. Debra She Who Seeks says

    I lived in Manitoba for 40 years before moving here to Alberta so I LOVE FLAPPER PIE! It was always (and remains today) a staple on the menu of the Salisbury House Restaurant chain in Winnipeg. I enjoyed a piece of flapper pie the last time I was in Winnipeg earlier this year. The Sal’s version is noticeably cinnamon-y, though, not just the dash your recipe calls for! Good luck with your recipe book — it sounds fab!

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Debra She Who Seeks I would love to try the Sals version!

  13. Priscilla Cole says

    thekitchenmagpie Priscilla Cole Thanks for your reply.  Much helpful.

  14. Priscilla Cole says

    Bake crust at 350 for 10 minutes is not posted in your recipe. 

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      Priscilla Cole The recipe off the “box” in the days has refrigerate the crust, not bake. You can do either. The baked is a crunchy crust, while the refrigerated is easier to cut.

      • Priscilla Cole says

        thekitchenmagpie Priscilla Cole Thanks for your reply.  Much helpful.

  15. Dianne Oberg says

    Thanks, Karlynn, for the wonderful cookbook and the memories it brought back to my sister and me as we leafed through the pages! My Mom made fabulous flapper pie. Her recipe came from the Paulin’s Graham Wafer box. Paulin’s products were made in Winnipeg which probably explains why flapper pie is a true Prairie treat! It was a fast dessert to make (at least by our Mom) and I remember my brothers coming home from the curling rink on a bonspiel weekend saying the booth had run out of pie and could made some more. Flapper was her go-to pie in this and many other “emergency” situations!

  16. ShelleyBradford says

    It’s our southern Alberta prairie family favorite too, this flapper pie. You’ve Nailed the recipe down to the cinnamon. Good one!!

  17. ShelleyBradford says

    It’s our southern Alberta prairie family favorite too, this flapper pie. You’ve Nailed the recipe down to the cinnamon. Good one!!

    I took graham crackers to England so I could make it for friends..now they love it too but cannot get graham wafers there. Not the same with digestive cookies.

  18. Lorna Penner says

    Best pie ever! Is it still on the waffer box–the recipy?

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Hasn’t been for years and years! Decades, actually. I haven’t been able to find one, I’ve only heard it was on either cornstarch or graham wafer boxes..

  19. Sandra Abbott says

    My mom often make it and I loved it. Now my step-daughter makes it for my Birthday every year. Also the R&R diner has it sometimes. So good.

  20. Christie Titford says

    I used your recipe in April for my father in laws birthday! It’s his absolute favourite! Your recipe is so easy to follow and turns out perfectly, can’t wait for the cook book \U0001f60a

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Awesome to hear! We just had it Sunday and yesterday…so good!

  21. Sue Lassesen-Fowler says

    I make Flapper pies and sell them at Rose City Farmers Market Association. It is amazing how many people love this pie. Those who haven’t heard of it before try it and love it.

  22. Ann-Marie Conklin says

    I think I’ve had this right Carol????

  23. Susan Portz says

    My mama used to make it and I never have. But both my brothers LOVED it and they’ve been doing lots of stuff to help me lately, so I’m thinking a flapper pie thank you might be in order!

  24. Susan Lynn Wang says

    My grandma used to make raisin pie, and I haven’t seen it anywhere in years.

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Well, it’s in my cookbook! The recipe I make for my dad!

    • The Kitchen Magpie says

      Raisin and flapper pie are both in the cookbook!

  25. Rosaline Linhart says

    haven’t had Flapper Pie in years…I used to love it..When we first came to Canada my aunt used to make this scrumptious pie often…oh how I loved it….

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