Flapper pie: a “Canadian prairie staple”. It is a vanilla custard (no bake) pie classically topped with meringue, but I think meringue is unappetizing, so I used whipped cream which just makes it all the more creamy. I first tried this in 2011 when my aunt casually whipped it out for dessert during a visit. As if it were no big deal that she was sitting on top of what would become one of my go-to pie recipes. I think I underestimated her because she’s sweet and lovely. It turns out she just plays her recipe cards close to her chest.
Some people use instant vanilla pudding mix for the filling, but I don’t play that game because everything tastes better homemade. So, I doubled the custard recipe from my bee sting cake.
If you like chocolate pie, you’ll love this pie. When you stir the vanilla into the warm custard, that smell wafts up your nose, down your throat and straight into your soul. The crust is one we all know and love (graham cracker), and I’ve already saved you the whole meringue debacle. So what’s the dealio? You’re not afraid of a little homemade custard, are you?
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch (or flour)
- 4 pinches sea salt
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (or 10-12 graham crackers, finely crushed)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup whipped cream, to top (a 236ml carton)
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and butter for the pie crust. The mixture should look like wet sand. Press into 9-inch pie pan, taking care to work the crust up to the edges. Set aside.
*You’ll notice my crust is crumbly and sad looking – this is because I tried baking it which I normally don’t do, and I also spread the custard into the crust after it had been set and refrigerated. I think that allowing the custard to set within the crust helps them bind so that nothing is crumbling apart when you cut a slice of pie.
Warm milk in small pot on low heat, then pour into a spouted-measuring cup or small pitcher (something that pours easily). Set aside.
Rinse pot with cold water (to cool) and wipe dry. Off the heat, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow and thick. Whisk in cornstarch (or flour) and salt until smooth. Slowly pour in the warm milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly, then once you have poured in half the amount you can pour in a steady stream. Return to heat on medium-high until the mixture bubbles, then simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture has thickened, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Pour into prepared crust, and refrigerate until cold and set, 1-2 hours.