History Of The Flapper Pie + 5 Historical Recipes

In the Victorian and Edwardian era, Flapper Pie was know as Mock Cream Pie, Custard Meringue Pie or Chess Pie. Below are 5 historical flapper pie recipes.

History Of The Flapper Pie + 5 Historical Recipes

The pie which is known today as Flapper Pie in Canada dates back to the Victorian and Edwardian era. Flapper pie is a vanilla custard pie topped with meringue. Today, flapper pie is usually made with a graham cracker pie crust, in the Victorian and Edwardian era, however, the pie crust was usually an ordinary shortcrust pastry. A typical Victorian pie crust consisted of 4 ingredients: flour, butter, salt and cold water.

Related: The BEST Pie Crust Recipe – From 100 Years Ago!


What’s A Flapper?

Flappers were modern, young girls in the 1920s, often with a slightly immoral behavior. Precursors of the 1920s flapper were both, the late Victorian ‘New Woman’ and the Edwardian ‘Gibson Girl’.

Related: 1920s Faux Bob Tutorial For Long Hair

Unlike their Victorian grandmothers, 1920s flappers cut off their long hair and wore a bob instead. They also wore makeup, smoked and drank alcohol in public. And like all 1920s women, flappers wore short (knee-length) dresses. However, unlike more conservative women, flappers wore only the bare necessities under their dresses: often just a step-in or slip, and rolled stockings.

Related: 1920s Afternoon Lace Dress



5 Historical Flapper Pie Recipes

How To Bake A Custard Pie – Victorian Tips

‘Some persons think it advisable to bake a custard pie crust before putting in the custard; but my wife says if the paste is made sufficiently rich, the custard will not soak into the crust if the pie is put into a hot oven as soon as it ought to be after the custard is dipped in.’ (Dr. Chase’s Family Physician, Farrier, Bee-keeper, and Second Receipt Book, 1874, p. 580)

‘I read a recipe lately in which the writer says a custard pie must bake one hour. Now don’t one of you believe such nonsense! If a custard pie was baked one hour in a hot oven, […] the crust would be soggy, and no more like pie than a piece of wet leather.

No doubt the dear lady who wrote it could conjugate a Latin verb through all the tenses, but she could not bake a custard pie. Now I’m not smart, but, with dry wood, I can make the custard and paste and bake three pies in twenty minutes. There is no kind of pie so easily made or so speedily baked. Only the crust needs to bake, the custard to set.’ (Arthur’s Home Magazine, 1875, p. 614)

‘When the handle of a silver spoon can be inserted in the custard, and drawn out without the custard adhering to it, the pie is done if the crust is light brown.’ (The Homekeeper, 1872)


Custard Meringue Pie - Edwardian Recipe
Custard Meringue Pie – Edwardian Recipe


Edwardian Custard Meringue Pie

  • pie crust

Custard Pie Filling

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 peach leaves, rind of 1/2 lemon or vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt

Meringue Topping

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp sugar

In a saucepan, combine milk and one of the flavorings. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. Stir in egg yolks, sugar and salt.

‘One teaspoonful of cornstarch or 1 tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth with cold milk and boiled with the milk, after the flavoring leaves are removed, will take the place of 1 egg. […] Vanilla makes a pleasant flavor. If flour is used and peach leaves omitted, the milk need not be boiled. […]

Related: Cake Crumb Pie Crust – A Use For Stale Cake

Bake the pie. Beat the whites, add 1 tablespoonful of white sugar, spread over the top and return to the oven to brown lightly.’ (Three Meals A Day, 1902)


Edwardian Mock Cream Pie

  • pie crust

Custard Pie Filling

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or lemon extract
  • 1 tsp butter

Meringue Topping

  • 1 egg white
  • sugar

‘Break the eggs into a dish, add sugar and cornstarch; beat together. Have the milk boiling and stir into the mixture, continuing to stir until it thickens. Be careful not to scorch it. Bake with one crust.

Related: 10+ Vegan Pie Crust Recipes

Use the reserved white of an egg to make a frosting. Sweeten; brown.’ (Three Meals A Day, 1902)


History Of The Flapper Pie Ornamental Mock Cream Pie Recipe
Edwardian Ornamental Mock Cream Pie


Ornamental Mock Cream Pie – Edwardian Recipe

  • pie crust
  • mock cream pie filling (see recipe above)
  • red currant or other bright colored jelly
  • meringue topping

‘Use the same filling as for Mock Cream Pie, putting a layer of red currant or other bright colored jelly, first in the crust, then the cream filling, and afterward the meringue or frosting. This pie when cut is decidedly ornamental in appearance as well as delicious in flavor.’ (Three Meals A Day, 1902)


Edwardian Chess Pie

  • pie crust

Custard Pie Filling

  • 3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Meringue Topping

  • 2 egg whites
  • sugar

‘Stir the butter and sugar together, add the other ingredients, stirring well. Bake with one crust like a custard pie.

Related: Edwardian Pie Crust Recipe

Make a frosting of the 2 reserved whites of eggs. Sweeten, flavor with nutmeg.’ (Three Meals A Day, 1902)


1910s Mock Cream Pie Recipe-2
WW1 Mock Cream Pie


WW1 Mock Cream Pie

  • pie crust

Custard Pie Filling

  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • pinch of salt
  • small piece of butter
  • nutmeg

Meringue Topping

  • 3 egg whites
  • sugar

‘Beat sugar, flour and egg yolks together. After the milk has come to a boil add the mixture, salt and butter. After it has cooled, place in baked crust and sprinkle over it a little nutmeg. Place meringue over top and brown in oven.’ (The Manila Cook Book, 1919)


Victorian Labor Saving Custard Pie Flapper Pie Recipe


Victorian Custard Pie – A Labor Saving Pie

‘A labor saving pie which makes its own paste.’

  • 1 quart milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 nutmeg

‘Beat four eggs with four dessert-spoonsful of wheat flour, until they are light, then gradually stir into it a quart of milk; add a saltspoonful of salt, and half a nutmeg grated, with sugar to taste; (about two dessert-spoonsful is enough,) rub a square tin pie-pan over with a bit of butter, and put the mixture in nearly to fill it; bake half an hour in a quick oven.’ (Mrs. Crowen’s American Lady’s Cookery Book, 1866, p. 259)

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