Sunday, 23 February 2014

Flapper Pie

Unless you've been living under a rock - you've been watching the Olympics.  And if you've been paying even the SLIGHTEST attention, you'll know that the Canadians have been doing incredible things!
To say that I'm proud of our Olympians is pretty much an understatement.
Look at the advice that rolled out for our Men's hockey team after our Women won gold!
And this morning - they did.
So - in honor of our Olympians - I thought I would make something Canadian. 
But what is Flapper Pie you ask?
Well - it's a custard pie with a meringue topping that came from the Manitoba Prairies, and people have been making it for generations.
The recipe I'm using today is from my Grandmother - who grew up in the Prairies, raised her children in the Prairies, and continues to live there today.
Hi Grandma!  *mwah*
Let's start with the base.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon,

brown sugar,

and the butter.

Then press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate.  And bake at 325F for 10 minutes.

Then, make the filling.
In a double boiler, combine the milk,

Then add the egg yolks.

And the cornstarch.

Then the vanilla.

Cook the mixture until thickened.  I would say that you'll know when it's ready if you drop a spoonful on the surface and it doesn't disappear into the rest of the mixture. 
Pretty much it'll look like pudding - because it kind of is - but it's kind of not.  Because it's custard.
Anyway - once it's that consistency, add a pat of butter about the size of a walnut.  About a Tablespoon?  Grandma's recipe says "size of a walnut". 
Well - add it and stir until melted and combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust while it's still hot.

Then make the meringue topping.
Whip egg whites until stiff and add the icing sugar.  Then whip until stiff peaks form.

Top the custard with the meringue and bake in the oven at 250F for 10 minutes.

The pie was so light and creamy I was completely surprised - it's the perfect follow up to a heavy meal!
I was a little light-handed with the meringue - but it could be browned a little further if you wanted it to be.
Also - and don't hang me out to dry on this one - I'm not the hugest fan of meringue.....  I would love this pie with a little bit of sweetened whipped cream - please don't judge.
 So - while I'm here in Canada doing Canadian things like shovelling snow and eating flapper pie, my heart and pride is with my Olympians in Sochi, on this the last day of the Games, where they have broken records, won medals, and stolen hearts.
I hope you enjoy this old-fashioned Canadian pie as much as I did!
And one more thing before I go.....
xoxo - Heather

Flapper Pie
18 graham wafers, crushed fine
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups milk
2 eggs, separated
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon butter (about the size of a walnut)
3 Tablespoons icing sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the crushed graham wafers, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon.
  3. Remove 1/4 cup of the graham mixture and set aside.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate.
  4. Bake the graham crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes then set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a double-boiler combine the milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla over medium heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until very thick.  Then stir in the butter until melted and combined.
  6. Spread into the pre-baked crust.  Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F.
  7. In the bowl of stand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff and foamy.  Add the icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  8. Spread the whipped egg whites over the custard filling, top with the remaining 1/4 cup reserved graham crumbs, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Source:  Grandma Dorothy

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