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Wafer? Flapper? Open wide and say 'Sals'

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/11/2012 (1743 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I got a resounding response to my recent request for Sals wafer pie, also called flapper pie in some recipes. This is one of those iconic Winnipeg dishes that has been a Recipe Swap favourite over the years. Most of the replies hewed very closely to one of two recipes. The first, which uses six eggs, produces a spectacular meringue, and traces back to Homemaker's Magazine. The second is equally creamy and delicious but gets by with two eggs. Many readers have been making their recipes for decades. Thanks to Florence Bouchard, Johanne O'Brien, Myrtle Bredin of Oak Bank, Elizabeth Cross of Grand Marais, Emily Lucko, Faye Serofin, Kathleen Blythe, Diane McGillivray and Nancy Ashcroft.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

Six eggs  go into  the creation of wafer pie (above),  while flapper pie (below)  gets by with  just two.


Six eggs go into the creation of wafer pie (above), while flapper pie (below) gets by with just two.

Flapper Pie


Flapper Pie

Wafer pie


375 ml (1 ½ cups) graham wafer crumbs

80 ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar

60 ml (¼ cup) melted butter


6 egg yolks

125 ml (½ cup) white sugar

60 ml (4 tbsp) cornstarch

1 l (4 cups) whole milk, scalded

10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla


6 egg whites

45 ml (3 tbsp) white sugar

2 ml (½ tsp) cornstarch

15 ml (1 tbsp) graham wafer crumbs

 Preheat oven to 175 C (350F). In a small bowl, combine 375 ml (1½ cups) graham wafer crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter and press into a 22-cm (9inch) pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes.

 In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, beat the eggs yolks lightly with a fork, add 125 ml (½ cup) sugar and 60 ml (4 tbsp) cornstarch. Slowly add the scalded milk, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the vanilla extract. Cool.

 Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add 45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar and 2 ml (½ tsp) cornstarch and continue beating until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form. Pour the cooled filling into the baked pie crust. Top with meringue, spreading to the edge to seal. Sprinkle 15 ml (1 tbsp) graham wafer crumbs over top. Bake at 175C (350F) until golden brown, watching closely, about 15 minutes.

 Let rest in fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. Store any leftover pie in the fridge.

 Tester’s notes: This is a good version of the reassuringly sweet and creamy pie, with its traditional graham crust and vanilla filling. I particularly like the note of brown sugar in the crust. I patiently cooked the filling for 10 minutes or so, and stopped at the initial thickening, thinking it would firm up more when cooled. I probably should have let the filling cook on a slow boil for a minute or two more: My filling ended up being tasty but messy. My meringue was fabulous, though. (Do spread the meringue to the edges. This isn’t just for esthetic effect; it keeps the meringue from shrinking back.)


 Flapper pie


 310 ml (1 ¼ cup) graham wafer crumbs

 60 ml (¼ cup) melted butter

 60 ml (¼ cup) granulated sugar


 125 ml (½ cup) granulated sugar

 30 ml (2 tbsp) cornstarch

 15 ml (1 tbsp) all-purpose flour

 500 ml (2 cups) milk

 2 egg yolks

 30 ml (2 tbsp) butter

 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla


 2 egg whites

Few grains salt

60 ml (¼ cup) granulated sugar

 Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F). In a small bowl, mix together graham wafer crumbs, melted butter and 60 ml (¼ cup) granulated sugar. Reserve  75 ml (1/3 cup) for topping, and press remaining mixture onto sides and bottom of a 20-cm (8-inch) pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

 In a saucepan, blend together 125 ml (½ cup) sugar, cornstarch and flour. Gradually stir in milk until mixture is smooth. Cook over medium heat, using a whisk, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, and stir a little hot mixture into beaten egg yolks. Add yolk mixture slowly to pan, stirring to blend. Return to heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add butter and vanilla. Pour into baked pie crust.

 In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in 60 ml (¼ cup) sugar a little at a time until meringue is glossy. Spread over filling to meet edges of crust. Top with reserved crumbs. Bake in a 220C (425F) oven for about 5 minutes or until meringue is a little brown. Cool at room temperature 3 hours before serving. Store any leftover pie in the fridge.

 Tester’s notes: With its lower-profile meringue, this tasty pie more closely resembles the Sals version. I might bake the crust at a lower temp next time: I found it browned a little too quickly at the edges at 190 C (375 F).

Read more by Alison Gillmor.


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Updated on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 9:32 AM CST: Recipes added

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