Many of my friends have never heard of, or tasted, Flapper Pie. Have you? Is it an old family favourite or brand new to you? Traditionally, Flapper Pie is a custard pie made with a graham cracker crumb crust and topped with meringue. I was unable to track down the origins of the name, but I know it is an old Prairie recipe.

In Aldersyde, the small Alberta town I grew up in, all of my friend’s moms made their own version of Flapper Pie. My mom often made it while I was growing up because we always had lots of milk and eggs and this pie uses both. With a crumb crust it is both quick and easy.

I had not made Flapper Pie for years when I discovered my mom’s recipe in my recipe box. My husband loves it and if my kids were home I think they would too! The only issue with making pie for the two of us is the temptation to eat the whole thing! It’s a good thing my co-workers also have a sweet tooth – the rest of this pie made it to the office for a Friday morning treat.

 

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Flapper Pie: an old Prairie Favourite
Prep Time
50 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Yields
10
Nutritional Info
Calories247
Fat9
Carbohydrates37
Fiber0.4
Protein5
Sodium144
Calcium89
Source: Katherine’s Personal Collection

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/4 cups(310 ml)graham cracker crumbs (about 18 crackers whizzed in your blender or food processor)
1/3 cup(75 ml)melted butter
1/3 cup(75 ml)sugar
1/2 tsp(2 ml)cinnamon

Filling

2 1/2 cups(625 ml)milk
1/2 cup(125 ml)white sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tsp(70 ml)cornstarch
3(large)egg yolks
1 tsp(5 ml)vanilla
pinch ofsalt

Meringue topping

3(large)egg whites
1/4 cup(60 ml)sugar
1/4 tsp(1 ml)cream of tartar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together with a fork. Set aside 2 tbsp (30 ml) of mixture, then press the remainder into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Mix all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stirring constantly, heat over medium heat until the mixture bubbles and thickens. This will happen very suddenly! Once this happens, it’s a good idea to remove the pan from the heat and whisk energetically to ensure no lumps.
  5. Pour into the crust and smooth the top.
  6. Use a scrupulously clean metal or glass bowl. Any trace of fat and your egg whites will not whip. With a mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy, then add the sugar and cream of tartar. Continue to beat until the egg whites hold a stiff peak (when you pull the beaters out of the whites they will stand up straight).
  7. Pile the beaten whites on top of the filling. Carefully spread to the edges of the crust, ensuring the whites touch the crust so your meringue won’t shrink back in the oven. Sprinkle with the reserved crumbs.
  8. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Watch the pie carefully during the last two minutes as the whites can brown up quite quickly. You want them to be golden. Remove to a rack and allow to cool.
  9. This pie needs to sit for several hours to set. When you are ready to serve, run your knife under hot water before each cut. This ensures a clean slice through the meringue. This pie tends to be a bit soft, and will collapse somewhat on the plate. But it is delish!
  10. Store any leftovers in the fridge, but note, this pie is best served the day it is made.