Flapper Pie

Flapper Pie is a unique Canadian dessert. A few facts, and a recipe.

A Canadian Classic Recipe

I can’t say where or when I first tried Flapper Pie. I know that it was on one of those family winter sports trips to one of the prairie cities that we were blessed to take when the kids were a little younger. I think it was in Winnipeg, but maybe it was Saskatoon? This wonderful dessert is a Canadian prairie classic, and you don’t tend to hear of it in the other provinces.

It’s a light and fluffy concoction of custard on a graham cracker crust with a meringue topping, quickly baked to seal in the flavours.

Why is it Called Flapper Pie?

The pie became popular in the 1920s during the time of Flapper ladies – so that MAY be the source of the name. It pre-dates the 20’s though and is basically what’s known elsewhere as a Vanilla Custard Pie.

The frugal Canadian in me thrills to the fact that you use an equal number of egg yolks in the custard to the number of egg whites in the meringue. No wasted egg bits here. That just wouldn’t be right.

The key to baking this pie in my opinion – is to get each of the three layers just right. There are quite a few published recipes, and this is a tweak of several!

Graham Cracker Crust

The Graham Cracker Crust for example can (and will) be crumbly, but I use butter instead of margarine, as it will congeal a bit better at the end.

I use brown sugar as well instead of white sugar, to give the pie a bit more zip and sticktogetherness. The traditional recipe, I believe uses white granulated sugar in the crust. The cinnamon in the crust adds a bit of mystery! My pie crust sticks to the pie plate. Round pie plate shaped parchment paper sheets could help with this.

If you wanted to save yourself a step, you can use a store-bought Graham Cracker Crust, but this one is better!

The 3 Layers - Graham Cracker Crumb Crust, Custard and Meringue
The 3 Layers – Graham Cracker Crumb Crust, Custard and Meringue

Custard Layer

The Custard layer, needs to set correctly, it’s not that hard, but it requires full attention and constant whisking. Don’t forget to use whole milk for this, and don’t panic but keep whisking. I put more Vanilla in than the norm, but it is needed with 5 eggs. This is a big pie – and deserves big flavour. I went for a 5 egg sized pie – many recipes are 2 or 3 eggs – I have a lot of hungry men to feed, currently hovering around my stay-at-home pandemic kitchen

Meringue Layer

The Meringue is a traditional topping, but try and let your egg whites get to room temperature before whipping – and keep those bits of egg yolk out. You will have greater success. I confess, I left out the Cream of Tartar – but the Meringue turned out well enough without it. The Cream of Tartar is just used to keep the shape of the Meringue and keep it from collapsing. My Tartarless Meringue did not collapse, but why risk messing up your meringue if you have it on hand?

Advertisements

My version of the recipe is below. Forgive me if it’s not true to the original, but it does taste lovely.

Recipe:

A NEW Printable Recipe Card has been added at the bottom of this post, but read the full post as there are lots of steps to this one!

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup ground graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup brown sugar – packed down

1 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butter – melted

Graham Cracker Crust Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir together brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and melted butter
Stir together brown sugar, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon and melted butter

Combine ingredients in bowl, and press down firmly in a 10 inch pie plate, Spread up the sides of the pie plate. I used a large flat spatula for this.

Press crumb mixture into a pie plate with a spatula
Press crumb mixture into a pie plate with a spatula
Graham Cracker Crumb Pie Crust
Graham Cracker Crumb Pie Crust

Bake piecrust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and then remove from oven.

Leave the oven on at 350 degrees, because you will be using the oven again!

Custard Ingredients:

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

5 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons corn starch

Custard Method:

Mix corn starch with about one cup of milk – whisking together until lump free and set aside.

Mix remaining milk and sugar in a pot. Place over medium heat whisking constantly for about 5 minutes. Add butter. Gradually whisk in corn starch and milk mixture to thicken.

Whisk milk, granulated sugar and butter over heat
Whisk milk, granulated sugar and butter over heat

Mix egg yolks with vanilla.

Egg Yolks and vanilla
Egg Yolks and vanilla

Ladle a few cups of heated milk mixture into a heat proof bowl. Gradually pour the egg mixture in – whisking constantly.

Gradually pour and whisk this mixture back into the hot milk.

(You are trying to keep the milk from burning or curdling, and trying to keep the eggs from scrambling if they mix with the hot liquid too quickly. It’s a balance, but it’s do-able).

Ladle heated milk
Ladle heated milk

Continue whisking, and turn the heat just a little higher until the mixture bubbles up a little and thickens. Remove from heat and pour over pie crust. This recipe completely covered my crust and that was wonderful!

Custard over graham cracker crust
Custard over graham cracker crust

Meringue Ingredients:

5 egg whites

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Sprinkle cream of tartar over egg whites. Gradually pour sugar into egg whites, mix with electric blender until soft peaks form. Spread meringue over custard.

Meringue with soft peaks
Meringue with soft peaks
Spread meringue over custard pie
Spread meringue over custard pie

Optional Sprinkle Topping

1 Tsp Brown Sugar

2 Tbsp Graham Cracker Crumbs

Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle freely over meringue topping

(I went without the crumble topping, as one of my boys is anti-crumble if you can believe it)

Bake:

Place pie in pre heated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Bake Pie in prehated oven until lightly browned
Bake Pie in prehated oven until lightly browned

Remove pie from oven when meringue is lightly browned.

Fresh Flapper Pie
Fresh Flapper Pie

Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to allow custard to set.

The last slice of Flapper Pie
The last slice of Flapper Pie
A not quite perfect slice of Flapper Pie
A not quite perfect slice of Flapper Pie

This recipe took a bit of paying attention, and some extra dishes, but was not difficult. My boys loved it, and even though it was a big fluffy pie, it disappeared quickly.

If you have any pie baking family secrets that you’d like to share, by all means do!

Below is a new printable recipe card from RecipesGenerator. Please give it a try!

Yield: 8

 

Author: Lillie
Print

 

Flapper Pie

Flapper Pie

This light and fluffy concoction of custard on a graham cracker crust with a meringue topping is a Canadian Prairie classic
Prep time: 1 HourCook time: 30 MinInactive time: 3 HourTotal time: 4 H & 30 M

Ingredients

 
  • Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cup ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar - packed down
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp butter - melted
  • Custard Ingredients:
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • Meringue Ingredients:
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • Optional Sprinkle Topping
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Graham Cracker Crumbs

Instructions

 
  1. Graham Cracker Crust Method:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Combine ingredients in bowl, and press down firmly in a 10 inch pie plate, Spread up the sides of the pie plate.
  4. Bake piecrust at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and then remove from oven.
  5. Leave the oven on at 350 degrees
  6. Custard Method:
  7. Mix corn starch with about one cup of milk
  8. Whisk together until lump free and set aside.
  9. Mix remaining milk and sugar in a pot.
  10. Place over medium heat whisking constantly for about 5 minutes.
  11. Add butter.
  12. Gradually whisk in corn starch and milk mixture to thicken.
  13. Mix egg yolks with vanilla.
  14. Ladle a few cups of heated milk mixture into a heat proof bowl. Gradually pour the egg mixture in - whisking constantly.
  15. Gradually pour and whisk this mixture back into the hot milk.
  16. (trying to keep the milk from burning or curdling, and trying to keep the eggs from scrambling if they mix with the hot liquid too quickly).
  17. Continue whisking, and turn the heat just a little higher until the mixture bubbles up a little and thickens.
  18. Remove from heat and pour over pie crust.
  19. Sprinkle cream of tartar over egg whites.
  20. Gradually pour sugar into egg whites, mix with electric blender until soft peaks form.
  21. Spread meringue over custard.
  22. Mix Sprinkle topping ingredients together and sprinkle freely over meringue topping
  23. Bake:
  24. Place pie in pre heated 350 degree F oven for 15 minutes.
  25. Remove pie from oven when meringue is lightly browned.
  26. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours to allow custard to set.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

484.72

Fat (grams)

20.36

Sat. Fat (grams)

8.38

Carbs (grams)

63.59

Fiber (grams)

1.23

Net carbs

62.36

Sugar (grams)

37.61

Protein (grams)

11.93

Sodium (milligrams)

344.93

Cholesterol (grams)

150.97

Nutritional information is calculated automatically using “natural language processing” within the software, and is not guaranteed to be accurate, but is a “good guess”! For this recipe, it's so decadent, it's probably better to not think about the calories.

 
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @everyday.lillie on instagram and hashtag it ##everydaylillie

If you like this post, please share, comment, re-blog, like or follow. Please go ahead and visit some other posts and please do drop by again.

Follow Everyday Lillie on WordPress.com

9 thoughts on “Flapper Pie

    1. Hi Morag – it’s like lemon meringue, which we have alot here too, but with custard! It’s not tangy, but the crust has more flavour!

Leave a Reply