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.
My parents were just up this weekend, actually and I baked this pie up fresh last night for my Mom and Dad.
Those beautiful peaks of meringue and the cinnamon laced graham crumbs are so very divine on this 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.
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.
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!
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My Cherished Canadian Recipe: Flapper Pie
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- Cook Time
- 10 minutes
- Total Time
- 30 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 1/4 cups graham crackers
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of white sugar
- 1/4 cup of cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
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.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes..
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.
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.