Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Dessert

Flapper Pie, truly Canadian

Loreto May 3, 2020

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Flapper Pie, truly Canadian. Most people say ‘what is a flapper pie’? Well, if you like cream pies, this is one of the most economical and great tasting pies from the prairies of Canada. However, the best part is it is so easy and I have made it gluten-free, how about that!

Song of the day: “At the Hundredth Meridian” by The Tragically Hip.

Flapper pie, Truly Canadian

Flapper Pie, truly Canadian. Imagine a wonderful gluten-free graham crust, vanilla cream, and a mound of meringue topping this wonderful dessert. The end result, luscious, delectable, creamy rich goodness with a side of Canadian culture! Try it today!

What are friends for…………….

I never would have imagined that I would be making a Flapper pie. For one thing, I am not really the baker of the duo. That  I leave to Nicoletta who does it so well! However, it changed, all for a friend!

I got a call from our friend Elizabeth and she asked if I could make a flapper pie. My response was that I had never made one, and what did she need one for. She told me it was for Jason’s birthday and that it held a special place in his heart and many lovely memories of his Nana. Oh, and the curve-ball, it had to be gluten-free.

Okay, a friend’s birthday and a link to a memory involving food involving his grandma. It was a no brainer and I was up for the challenge with a spatula in hand and plenty of heart to go with it! So without further a due,  let’s get started and get this  Flapper Pie done, hence so we can cut a slice, put up our heels and really enjoy it!

Flapper pie, Truly Canadian-ingredients

Time to get our list and do some shopping…………………………….

  • Gluten-free graham crackers crumbs (or regular graham cracker crumbs)
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Free-range organic good quality eggs
  • Cane sugar
  • Half and half cream
  • Vanilla bean or good quality liquid vanilla
  • Corn starch
  • Cream of tartar

Four steps to a Flapper Pie, starting with step one………..

  • Firstly we have to get the crust done. This is easy work: some room temp butter into the graham crumbs along with some cinnamon and nutmeg. I used a pastry cutter that cuts that butter in nicely and when it is pebbly it is time to pour it into a pie plate and press it all the way up the sides. Off to the fridge, it goes to set.

Step two…………

  • Secondly, it is time to make the vanilla cream. In a pot, warm up the cream with vanilla bean or some vanilla extract. While that is simmering separate the eggs yolks in one bowl and white in another. Add sugar to the yolks and whisk briskly until it begins to froth. Time to put in the corn starch and whisk again until smooth with no lumps.
  • Take the skin that forms on top of the warm cream and throw out. Slowly pour the warmed cream into the yolk mixture all the while whisking until all the cream is in. Pour it all back into the pot and put on low heat and keep whisking until it begins to thicken.
  • Pour thickened mixture into a large sieve over a bowl and work through. When all of it has gone through, cover the custard with some plastic film and put it into the fridge to cool.

Step three, the meringue……….

  • Thirdly, time to whip up the meringue. Easy breezy. Just add sugar and cream of tartar to the egg whites that are at room temperature and whip with a stand mixer or, like me, a hand mixer. Whip on high until stiff peaks form. If you are daring, turn the bowl upside down after whipping and see if it holds and does not fall on your head, lol.

Step four, the assembly………..

  • Lastly, time to get this pie together. Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C). Out of the fridge comes the crust and custard. Spread the vanilla cream with a spatula and top with the meringue. Use the spatula to put some texture to the top of the meringue. Into the oven on the middle rack for a few minutes until the peaks start to turn golden. Out of the oven comes the pie and onto a cooling rack. Once it’s cool, time to serve this Flapper Pie, truly Canadian!

Flapper pie, Truly Canadian-in the pie dish

A beautiful work of food art if I do say so myself………….

Does this not look amazing? Look at the color on the meringue and that crust is so nice. The aroma is incredible. I can smell the vanilla and those lovely graham crumbs with the cinnamon and nutmeg. I can’t wait to cut into this!

 Flapper pie, Truly Canadian-slice and coffee 

Nothing like a good cup of coffee and a piece of Flapper pie…………..

I have to say, cream pies are not the easiest to cut, they do come out a bit messy, however, who cares, look at that crust, custard, and meringue. Together they are going to be a wonderful symphony for my taste buds!

Wow, that crust is amazing, buttery, crumbly, and with wonderful hits of cinnamon and nutmeg. The vanilla cream dances so nicely together offering such a play on texture and the meringue waltzes in with a show stopper flavor and texture. Together truly and utterly amazing!

Final notes……………………….

When a good friend asks you nicely to do something, the only thing to do is rise to the occasion and do your utmost best to deliver an end result that will be memorable and most pleasurable. Happily, I can say that my friend Jason loved the pie and said that his Nana would be proud! I am one very inexperienced baker, lol! 

Flapper pie, Truly Canadian-slice-vertical

This pie is cost-effective and wastes nothing. The eggs are all used up and these reasons are why it was so popular during the tougher years of Canadian Prairie farming. It then became popular and every once in a while a Flapper Pie pops up and you will hear the phrase “I have never heard of a Flapper pie!“. Well, now you have and can even make one. Try it today, the kids will love it, even the grownups with a bit of kid in them too! Consequently, the urge to get your fork into the pie plate for some second and third helpings may occur!


Song of the day: “At the Hundredth Meridian” by The Tragically Hip.

Flapper pie, Truly Canadian

Flapper Pie, truly Canadian

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6-8 people 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: stove top/ baking
  • Cuisine: Canadian


Flapper Pie, truly Canadian. Imagine a wonderful gluten-free graham crust, vanilla cream, and a mound of meringue topping this wonderful dessert. The end result, luscious, delectable, creamy rich goodness with a side of Canadian culture! Try it today!


For the base:

  • 300 g Graham crackers, gluten-free, or regular
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

For the pastry cream:

  • 4 egg yolks (organic free-range, if you can)
  • 365 g half & half cream or whole milk
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 heaping Tbsp cornstarch

For the meringue:

  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt


For the base:

  1. In a bowl add crumbs, butter in small chunks, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mix until it forms a pebbly texture.
  3. Get a 9-inch pie plate and grease inside with butter, pour crumb mixture, and press onto bottom and sides till it is evenly distributed.
  4. Place in the fridge until it is set.

For the cream:

  1. Divide the eggs yolks in one bowl, whites in another, set aside whites.
  2. Pour cream into a saucepan along with the paste from a vanilla bean or the vanilla extract if using that and begin to heat until it starts to slowly simmer and a film forms. Take that film off and discard.
  3. While the cream is heating up, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until it becomes creamy and frothy.
  4. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and whisk again till smooth.
  5. Slowly pour the warm cream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly until all the cream is in. Pour back into saucepan and place on low heat. Keep whisking and cook until cream begins to boil and thicken. Take off heat.
  6. Pour cream into a sieve over a bowl and work it through with a spatula. Scrape any cream on the bottom of the sieve, then cover cream in bowl with plastic wrap pressing the film onto the top of the cream. Place in the fridge to cool.

For the meringue:

  1. When vanilla cream is cooled, take the egg whites, add the cream of tartar, plus a pinch of salt, and begin to mix using a hand blender or stand mixer on high.
  2. Slowly add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form.

Assembly and baking:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F (180° C).
  2. Take the crust out of the fridge along with the pastry cream. Pour cream into the center of the crust and with a spatula work the cream evenly throughout the crust.
  3. Place the meringue mixture onto the cream and smooth it out with a spatula then use that same spatula to create textured peaks. Just place spatula flat on the meringue and pull up.
  4. Put the pie in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 5 minutes until the meringue begins to turn a golden brown. Watch it carefully as it could burn easily.
  5. Take the pie out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. When the pie is cool, it is ready to serve.



If you are not gluten intolerant then use ordinary graham cracker crumbs.

Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature as this will give you a perfect end result meringue.

When adding sugar into the egg whites add 1 tablespoon at a time. This will ensure that the air will not be kicked out of the mix, and air is something we need to make a beautiful meringue.

Some people sprinkle a bit of the graham cracker crumbs on top of the pie before baking, it is up to you and personal preference.

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Flapper pie, Truly Canadian-in the pie dish-Jason

Our friend Jason

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  • Avatar
    Reply Chef Dennis May 5, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Yum! This Flapper Pie is really mouthwatering! It’s making me drool! I really love thta vanilla cream, and a mound of meringue on top. Can’t wait to have a bite!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 9, 2020 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks chef Dennis, be prepared to want more than one piece. Have fork will travel for sure, lol.
      Have a great day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Laura Arteaga May 6, 2020 at 11:29 pm

    That pie looks absolutely amazing! What a challenge, and yet you did amazing. I can’t wait to try the recipe myself! My birthday is coming soon, maybe the perfect chance!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 9, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Laura thank you! I think we may have just started the birthday Flapper pie trend. I love this pie. from the crust to the meringue. even the aroma that caramel brown sugar aroma just makes you want to grab a spoon and dive right in!
      Have fun making this and enjoy!

  • Avatar
    Reply Denise May 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    That Flapper Pie looks delicious! That vanilla cream with the graham cracker crust sounds amazing! I will have to give this a try.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 9, 2020 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you Denise, This pie is truly balanced and the combination of textures makes it a pure delight to eat. Cream and meringue who who of thought!

  • Avatar
    Reply GUNJAN C Dudani May 8, 2020 at 8:38 am

    This looks like a cool recipe. I would love to try it over the weekend.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 9, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      That’s fantastic, would love to hear how you made out and if the pie is well received. Happy baking! Thank you for checking out this recipe!

  • Avatar
    Reply Paige May 8, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Oh my gosh I had never heard of this pie, but your pictures made it look so good I had to make it and it was wonderful! This is a keeper!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 9, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you Paige I am so happy that you decided to try this pie. You have officially entered Canadian baking. It is such a wonderful pie and many have kept this one. Thanks again for doing the recipe.
      Have a great weekend!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sharon May 10, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Cream pies are so delicious but this flapper pie with the meringue is a great added addition.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 11, 2020 at 6:45 am

      Thank you Sharon, Yes I love meringue add it that vanilla cream and crust and we have a true winner for dessert!
      Happy day to you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Charity May 10, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    Flapper pie is a new one for me! I’m a food history nerd so will have to look up it’s origins. Looks great too!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 11, 2020 at 6:44 am

      Hi Charity, that’s fantastic. Yes this pie originates from the Canadian prairies during the great depression. It was very economical to make and nothing wasted. Plus so delicious, a little happiness during some hard times! Thank you for sharing!
      Have a great day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Natalie May 11, 2020 at 4:58 am

    Wow this pie looks so delicious. SO good! I never heard of Flapper pie but I know I will definitely make it. That filling and meringue sound so yummy! My boys will love this!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 11, 2020 at 6:40 am

      Hi Natalie I have yet to experience someone not liking this pie. Most of the time spoons are going in for more bites after the first piece. It is a great pie with lots of Canadian heritage! Thanks for checking i tout, and would love to hear how you made out!
      Happy pie making!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jo May 11, 2020 at 6:34 am

    I haven’t come across a single pie recipe that I don’t like! I have to admit this pie looks as good as a pie can be! I’m sure it’s as delicious as it looks!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 11, 2020 at 6:38 am

      Hi Jo, Yes from crust to meringue top it just a delight to eat! Thank you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Heidy May 11, 2020 at 7:33 am

    This pie sounds awesome and you’re right I was one of the ones wondering what a flapper pie was so thank you for sharing this tasty information. I cannot wait to try this soon.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 12, 2020 at 7:39 am

      Thank you Heidy! That is the beauty of food sharing culture, history and our ultimate passion for cooking! Such a beautiful thing and am so glad you enjoyed this Flapper pie post!
      Happy cooking and baking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Alena May 11, 2020 at 8:51 am

    I love how fun this recipe is! I have never heard of a flapper pie before so appreciate the explanation. I love the fluffy and creamy layer the most!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 12, 2020 at 7:38 am

      Thank you Alena. It is a very easy pie to make and so much fun. I absolutely love meringues and you can really pile a mound on top of this pie and play with the finish. Most of all sitting together and enjoying such a wonderful historic dessert!
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Veronika Sykorova May 12, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Omg that looks so good! I moved to canada a couple years ago but never tried this pie! Gonna make it soon

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 13, 2020 at 6:25 am

      Hi Veronika, welcome to Canada! Yes this pie originates from the prairie regions of Canada. It is not well known, except for those who grew up on farms and lived in those areas. It is a delicious pie from te crust to the meringue. Can’t wait for you to try it!
      Thank you for taking the time to learn about Flapper Pie!
      Have a great Canadian day!

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