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My Cherished Canadian Recipe: Flapper Pie

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Flapper Pie

My Grandma’s classic Canadian prairie flapper pie recipe was the first recipe that came to mind for the latest installment of the Canadian Food Experience Project.

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 even 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!

I called my recipe Flapper Pie- The Lost Prairie Pie when I wrote it up and it since has become one of the most popular posts on my site.

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.

Flapper Pie is a cherished family pie, however it isn’t one that I grew up eating. Now, isn’t that funny to go and pick a recipe that doesn’t have any real special meaning to me for this project? I promise, my choice will make sense in a moment.

The cherished part of the recipe comes from my retrieving the recipe from my Grandma’s archives and creating my Mom’s favorite pie from her childhood, making it all the more special because it was for someone else and not myself that I brought to life this old and treasured recipe.

Flapper Pie

My parents were just up this weekend, actually and I baked this pie up fresh last night for my Mom and Dad.

Flapper Pie

Those beautiful peaks of meringue and the cinnamon laced graham crumbs are so very divine on this pie.

Flapper Pie

No matter how many times I make this pie – and it’s only a few special times a year – the whole family enjoys remembering how much they love this recipe.

Flapper Pie

There is always inevitably a discussion about my grandma, my mom’s childhood and how much she loved this pie as a child growing up in Manitoba. My husband is always thrilled when I bake this up, it’s a new pie in his repertoire – him being an Easterner and never having this pie as a child, poor thing-  and the smile on his face when he hears we are having it for dessert also is a reason why it’s one of my favorites.

Flapper Pie

The other reason that my flapper pie recipe is one of my most treasured Canadian recipes was the response from all of you readers. My recipe has evoked such emotion, memories and happiness from so many people that it makes my heart so very darn happy reading all the comments from you all!

A few of those treasured comments from you are:

-Thank you for posting this – I’m thrilled to share a little bit of the prairies with my NB family 🙂

-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.

-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

-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

How can comments like these not thrill me? I brought the recipe back to life for my Mom and it obviously was a childhood memory for so many of you, making this truly one of my most cherished recipes.

I am so glad to share this recipe again on my site and re-visit how much this prairie pie seems to mean to everyone! I have changed one thing, I bake the graham crust for 10 minutes before I fill it. While this is not in the original recipe, it helps with creating perfect slices of pie!

Happy Baking everyone!

Love,

I Think I Sill Have a Slice in My Fridge For Lunch Today Magpie

 

Learn to cook like the Kitchen Magpie

My Cherished Canadian Recipe: Flapper Pie

Classic Canadian Prairie Flapper pie recipe!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Course
Dessert
Cuisine
pie
Servings
6
Calories
409
Author
Karlynn Johnston

Ingredients

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

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.
  2. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes..
  3. Combine the filling ingredients together and cook on a medium heat until it boils and thickens, making sure to stir constantly!
  4. Set aside to cool while you make the meringue.Beat the meringue ingredients together until they form stiff peaks.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  7. 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.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 6g, Calories: 409kcal, Carbohydrates: 66g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 264mg, Potassium: 235mg, Sugar: 51g, Vitamin A: 560IU, Calcium: 152mg, 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!

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Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Sue says

    Another Alberta farm girl here. Your Flapper Pie recipe is identical to the one passed down to me, handwritten in the beautiful copperplate of my teacher, homesteader aunt. The note on the back reads
    “With a good cow and some chickens we always had an abundance of milk, cream, butter, and eggs. Custard desserts like this pie tasted decadent but were actually very economical to make.”

  2. Don says

    Here in the US, it’s just called graham cracker cream pie, my great aunt has been making it for at least 40 years. She’s been gone for a decade or so now but we got the recipe before she had passed. I just made it for New Years actually.

  3. Judy says

    Ohhhh, Flapper Pie! My Prairie mother used to make it. That, and Sour Cream Raisin pie. Deee-licious!!

  4. Bob says

    I was the dishwasher at a one time dinner theater in Edmonton Alberta where Greg the chef made flapper pie topped with whipped cream and blueberry topping. With only two of us in the kitchen he let me slice it up and apply the toppings . Of course I nibbled. I will try to make this.

    • Elizabeth says

      I was confused too. I believe it is a typo. So it should read 1/2 cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

    • Elizabeth says

      I was confused too. I believe it is a typo. So it should read 1/2 cup of sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

  5. Sharon says

    I grew up with flapper pie. I make it…. Mom made it and still does. Calmar / Leduc Alberta areas.

  6. NANCY THOMPSON says

    OH WOW THIS BRINGS BACK SOME WONDERFUL MEMORIES MY AUNT GRACE USED TO MAKE THIS BACK IN THE 40,S AND 50,S GREAT TO HEAR ITS STILL AROUND.
    THANKS FOR SHARING
    NANCY THOMPSON

  7. Susan D says

    Yay! Thanks for the recipe. Last time I searched for Flapper Pie online, I found nothing.

    Mom and Grandma both made it (here in Toronto) but I can’t find the recipe among their books and boxes.

    I have so got a treat in store. Thanks.

  8. Angie says

    This is such a yummy pie! Reminds me so much of family growing up. I am born & raised, married & have grandchildren right here in Dauphin Manitoba, & am making it for those grandbabies. They love it. All your recipes are like little bits of family!

  9. Carole Watson (nee Janzen) says

    My parents grew up in Saskatchewan and my mother brought her love of this pie to B. C. with her. We grew up loving when she baked this so I also baked it for my children. My children now make it for family and friends. That’s four generations minimum and it’s become our Christmas dessert. I wish I knew where it originated from. My parents were first generation Canadians whose family emigrated from Germany.
    Thanks for bringing this recipe to more people.

  10. Nakella says

    I received your cookbook as a gift and have made a lot of the recipes, but the flapper pie is the family Fave! I probably made it 15 times this year! I add an extra egg to make the meringue higher and cut a couple tbsp in total of sugar out when I remember, but the original recipe is perfect!! Great cookbook!

  11. Jean Bota says

    Karlynn I made your Flapper Pie for my company last night…

    So simple to make and such a success, wow ! as one guest from NB stated: totally a Prairie recipe !!

    I purchased your cookbook last fall and love it, the recipes’ are so easy to make, so delicious.. and your raspberry and Saskatoon jam are to die for …. so are the Saskatoon scones… yummy !!!

    Actually am going to purchase your cook book for Christmas presents this year….

    thanks again for all that you do…

  12. Michael says

    I grew up in montreal and graham wafer pie was a staple in our home..
    always surprised at how few people are aware of it..!!

  13. Moira Shannon says

    This was my sister’s favorite our grandmother made it. She lived in Medicine hat and it was very popular.I will make it for her this weekend, she will be so excited.

  14. Linda Herron says

    Flapper pie was a childhood favourite. This nostalgic reminder makes me want to head to the kitchen and whip up a flapper!

  15. Arleigh Gladwin Stockwell says

    I accidentally bought eight dozen eggs this week. I think I can make this.

    • Terri Haug says

      I love me some Flapper pie! I will come and help you eat this if you make it!

    • Arleigh Gladwin Stockwell says

      I was thinking of you when I saw this, Terri Haug!

  16. Betty Ann Mykietiak says

    I still have the recipe that I cut from the graham wafer box for this pie and make it often

  17. Barb Thompson says

    My grandma used to make this and then my mom eventually took over cause it’s one of my dad’s favorites….but I’ve never known anyone else outside our fam who’d heard of it…til you!

  18. Joanne Patton Steinley says

    Living in Pennsylvania now but grew up in Alberta. My sister -in -law sent me your cookbook for Christmas. Flapper pie is one of my favorites. All the recipes remind me of my mom and my southern Albertan Grandmother.

  19. Tania McDonald says

    My grandma used to make this and is my sister’s favourite. True story…. one night she woke up in the middle of the night and finished the flapper pie because my grandpa told her he was going to beat her to it \U0001f60a.

  20. Gail Paton says

    we lived in Saskatchewan and Alberta when i was a girl and most people we knew had heard of flapper pie. My Mom used to make it for special occasions 🙂

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