In my family there are four recipes that are tradition; Cabbage Rolls, Perogies, Cabbage Buns and Date Square. When I started dating Scott, I was introduced to his family traditions; one of those being Flapper Pie!
Flapper is a super simple pie filled with custard and topped with mounds of light, fluffy meringue and sprinkled with graham crackers. It’s been a staple recipe in Scott’s family for decades and it makes an appearance at all their family gatherings. I had never heard of it until we started dating and after some research, I found that it’s a pie that’s unique to the prairie provinces.
I’ve heard many stories of this infamous pie from my boyfriends mom such as the one time she decided not to make it for a holiday and her father-in-law grumbled the whole way home that he didn’t get his flapper pie. Or all the times she would make one or two for Fowl Suppers down in southern Saskatchewan and they would never make it to the table. She would go to deliver her contribution to the supper and the organizer would just pop it into the truck of his car and ask her how much money she wanted for it. It seemed to always be a huge hit and it’s one of the things she’s best known for!
Flapper Pie is one of those desserts you make just a few hours before serving because the custard and meringue tend to slip apart after it’s been sitting in the fridge for awhile. It’s easiest and must faster if you use the microwave to make the custard – you can get instructions on how to do that here.
My Cherished Canadian Recipe: Flapper Pie
A Prairie Classic Pie
- 1 1/4 cups graham crackers
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Mix all the ingredients together and press into a 10 inch pie plate. Reserve 2 tbsp of the graham crust mixer to use later.
Place in the refrigerator until ready to fill.
For the filling:
Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan and cook on a medium heat until it boils and thickens, making sure to stir constantly. Continue to mix for 2-3 more minutes until mixture is very thick. You may need to add more cornstarch.
Or you can use the microwave instructions listed above.
Set aside to cool.
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
For the Meringue:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat all the meringue ingredients together until they form stiff peaks.
Pour the cooled filling into the crust and top with the meringue.
Sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on the top and bake in a 350 degree oven.
Bake until the meringue browns slightly, around 10 minutes but watch it carefully.
Cool in the fridge and eat the same day.
This blog entry is part of The Canadian Food Experience Project which began June 7, 2013. As we (participants) share our collective stories across the vastness of our Canadian landscape, through our regional food experiences, we hope to bring global clarity to our Canadian culinary identity through the cadence of our concerted Canadian voice. I will be writing new entries and posting them on the 7th of each month with a focus on Canadian food, particularly food found in Saskatchewan and the Canadian Prairies. Please join us.