Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

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This Atlantic beach pie recipe is not mine. I didn’t make it up, and I didn’t change the recipe in any way. There are a few tips in this post, but the recipe came from Bill Smith in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
atlantic beach pie recipe
The reason I’m sharing it with you is that it’s one of my favorite things to make, and I think it needs to be shared.
So what is it? Essentially it’s just a lemon pie. But it’s much more than that. This Atlantic beach pie recipe is unlike any other lemon pie I’ve had in that it’s sweet and salty in the best way possible, but with the fresh, tart flavor of lemon.
atlantic beach pie recipe
Oh, and it’s sooo easy to make. Like for real, it’s the best kind of pie to make when you don’t want to go to any trouble, but you also want something you know everyone will love.
The key to the sweet and salty factor is the saltine crust. Now, if that sounds weird to you, it shouldn’t because it’s delicious. It’s also unfussy in a way that a traditional pie crust is not. I love to make this pie and let people eat it and try to guess what’s in the crust. It’s fun to see their faces when you tell them it’s just plain old saltine crackers. To up. the contrast even more, I like to sprinkle a bit of coarse salt on the pie before adding whipped cream.
I have two pie making tips that may or may not interest you, but I’m going to share them anyway. The first is regarding egg yolks, and not necessarily a pie specific tip, but in this case, it is. This pie has four egg yolks, and I sometimes make two, which means separating eight eggs is a hassle. Instead of painstakingly using the shell to separate, I just crack the whole eggs into another container, in this case, an aluminum pie tin. Then, I use my hands and scoop them out. It takes literally 30 seconds. For real.
This brings me to my next tip, which was sort of an accident. After I use the aluminum pie tin (just a disposable tin you can get at the grocery store) I put it in the dishwasher. This dulls the finish, which makes it look like an actual pie pan instead of a chintzy aluminum pan. I never realized this until everyone always tries to give me my pie tins back. Nope, they just look real. Doesn’t make your pie taste any better, but it looks better if you’re giving it away. Which you should because pies make great gifts!
atlantic beach pie recipe
atlantic beach pie recipe

Atlantic Beach Pie

Sweet, tart, and salty all in one, this Atlantic Beach Pie recipe is a favorite for a good reason. Perfect for a laid back barbecue or weekend get together.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling 3 hours
Servings 8
Calories 246 kcal



  • 60 saltine crackers
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened


  • 1 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Coarse salt
  • Whipped cream


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To make the crust, put the crackers in a food processor with the sugar and pulse until almost finely crushed.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add the butter. Work the butter into the crumbs until it holds together into a dough.
  • Using the back of a glass or your fingers, press the dough into an aluminum pie plate or other 8 inch pie dish. Chill for 10-15 minutes.
  • Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
  • To make the filling, whisk the condensed milk and egg yolks until very well combined. Whisk in the lemon juice, and mix well.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool to room temperature and chill the pie for several hours.
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt, top with whipped cream, slice and serve.


Storing leftovers: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Variations: You can use lime juice or a combination of lemon/lime instead of lemon juice.
Pairs well with: Earl Grey Lavender Latte, Summer Vegetable Tart


Calories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 4gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 336mgPotassium: 65mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 485IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition information is only an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. View full nutrition disclousre.
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