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 to make and I have made it gluten-free, how about that!
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 friends are 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 of food from 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 ado, let's get started and get this Flapper Pie don. Hence, so we can cut a slice, put up our heels, and really enjoy it!
Time to get our list and do some shopping
- Gluten-free graham crackers crumbs (or regular graham cracker crumbs)
- Free-range organic good quality eggs
- Cane sugar
- Half and half cream
- Vanilla bean or good quality vanilla bean paste
- Corn starch
- Cream of tartar
Four steps to a Flapper Pie, starting with step one, the crust
- 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, the vanilla pastry cream
- 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 it 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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Flapper pie, the best birthday cake!
Fast forward to 2022, and I am still making a gluten-free Flapper pie for my friend Jason's birthday. He loves it and so do we.
Have you made one yet?Print
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
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp cane sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
For the meringue:
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- ½ cup cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- pinch of salt
For the base:
- In a bowl add crumbs, butter in small chunks, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mix until it forms a pebbly texture.
- 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.
- Place in the fridge until it is set.
For the cream:
- Divide the eggs yolks in one bowl, whites in another, set aside whites.
- 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.
- While the cream is heating up, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until it becomes creamy and frothy.
- Sprinkle in the cornstarch and whisk again till smooth.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Slowly add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form.
Assembly and baking:
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F (180° C).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Method: stove top/ baking
- Cuisine: Canadian
Keywords: flapper pie, meringue, vanilla cream, classic, Canadian, cinnamon, nutmeg, gluten free, pie, dessert,
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.