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Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach Pie recipe, with complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions you can easily follow. Our pie has a saltine cracker crust with lemon-lime flavors. Printable recipe included.

Atlantic Beach Pie recipe.

I’ve been wanting to try this pie for some time now, and don’t really understand why it took me so long to finally getting around to making one. But, now that I have, I can honestly say I’ll be making it again pretty soon.

The recipe comes courtesy of our friends at Our State Magazine, a really great publication that covers the people, places, and events across our beautiful home state of North Carolina.

Many of my recipes have been featured in their online recipe collection and I’ve been honored to work with them over the years.

Atlantic Beach Pie originates with Bill Smith, the chef at Crooks Corner Restaurant in Chapel Hill, about 45 miles up the road from me. He pretty much revived this old recipe, using Saltine Crackers as the crust because, as he says, it was what was on hand at the time.

The pie became so popular in his restaurant, that it is now a permanent item on the menu.

You may have seen something similar with buttery crackers as the crust and a lemon pie filling. This one however, uses the saltine crackers and a combination of lemon juice and lime juice. It has a bit of a salty taste to remind you of the ocean, and a lemon and lime flavor combination that is mildly sweet and sometimes a bit tart.

Other than 3 Tablespoons of sugar in the crust, the only sweetener comes from the condensed milk.

So, ready for a taste of our Atlantic coast? Alright then, let’s grab those sandals and head to the kitchen.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Atlantic Beach Pie, you'll need these ingredients.

Atlantic Beach Pie, you’ll need these ingredients.

Whipped Cream for topping along with a dash of Sea Salt are also suggested.

Atlantic Beach Pie, crush the crackers.

Place a sleeve and a about half of another sleeve of the Saltine Crackers in a large mixing bowl. Crush the crackers with your hands until they are in small pieces, but not down to a dust like crumb.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the sugar.

Sprinkle the 3 Tablespoons of sugar over the crushed cracker crumbs.

Atlantic Beach Pie, mix well.

Mix the sugar and the cracker crumbs together.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the softened butter.

Add the stick of softened butter.

Atlantic Beach Pie, knead together.

Use your hands to knead the butter and the crumbs together. This may take a couple of minutes, but just keep working with it until the crumbs are moistened. It will be sort of like a dough, but it doesn’t hold together like a dough will.

You do want it moist enough to clump together though when you squeeze a handful of the crumb mixture together. I must confess, I added another Tablespoon of softened butter to mine to make it hold together a bit better.

Atlantic Beach Pie, spread the mixture into your baking dish.

Spread the crumb mixture into a lightly buttered pie dish.

My glass pie dish wasn’t very deep, and the crumb mixture was enough to fill it full as you can see.

Atlantic Beach Pie, shape the crust.

Press the crumbs firmly into the dish all the way around. Next, use your fingers and knuckles to shape a well into the crust, leaving a thick edge around the inside of the dish.

Once you’ve properly shaped the crust, place it in your refrigerator for at least 15 minutes so it can firm up. The butter in the crumb mixture will begin to harden back up and this helps hold the crumbs together.

Atlantic Beach Pie, bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges.

Remove the crust from your refrigerator and place it straight into the oven that you’ve pre-heated to 350F degrees.

Atlantic Beach Pie, remove and place on a wire rack until needed.

Bake the crust until it’s lightly browned around the edges.

Remove the crust from the oven and place it on a wire rack until needed.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the condensed milk to a large mixing bowl.

Empty the can of Condensed Milk into a good sized mixing bowl.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the egg yolks.

Add the egg YOLKS only. You’ll need four of them.

I always suggest you crack the eggs over another small bowl so you can easily see and remove any egg shell that might fall in. Separate the yolks from the whites and place the egg yolks in the milk.

You can freeze the leftover egg whites if you like to use later, or just make an egg white omelet for breakfast the next morning.

Atlantic Beach Pie, whisk the mixture together well.

Whisk the egg yolks and condensed milk together until it’s fully combined together. Give it a minute or so in order to prevent any streaks of egg from appearing in your baked pie.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the lemon juice.

Add the lemon juice.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the lime juice.

Add in the lime juice next.

Atlantic Beach Pie, add the filling to the crust.

Gently pour the filling into the crust.

Your crust doesn’t have to be completely cooled before you add the filling, so go ahead and move forward with the recipe once you have the filling completed.

Atlantic Beach Pie, bake at 350 degrees until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is set.

Place the filled pie back into the oven and let it bake for about 15 more minutes. The crust should be browned and the filling firm and set before removing. Oven temperatures vary, so watch it closely and don’t let the crust burn.

Atlantic Beach Pie, remove from oven and cool.

When done, remove the pie from the oven and place it on a wire rack or trivet to let it cool.

The pie needs to cool, then you should refrigerate it to help it firm up even more.

If possible, refrigerate the pie, uncovered, overnight for even better results.

Atlantic Beach Pie, cut while cold, and enjoy.


The pie will be easier to cut while it’s cold. You’ll have a lot of crumbs, but that’s to be expected, so don’t let it bother you.

I found that I enjoyed the taste of the pie even better once the pie had started to warm up a bit as opposed to straight out of the refrigerator. So, cut it while it’s good and cold, but let it come to about room temperature before serving.

Top your pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

You can also sprinkle just a very small amount of Sea Salt over the top for an added Beach Pie experience. Go easy though, you don’t want to over salt it.

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