Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

Atlantic Beach Pie

Facebook/Crook’s Corner

A refreshing treat with the perfect blend of sweet and salty, Atlantic Beach Pie remains a beloved staple on North Carolina’s coast. Bill Smith, the chef at Chapel Hill restaurant Crook’s Corner, serves the sweet-sour pie that’s akin to a lemon meringue or key lime pie. Its distinctive crust sets it apart, made with saltine crackers to give it a thick, crispy texture. Smith says when he was young, there was a rumor that you’d get sick if you ate dessert after seafood – except for Atlantic Beach Pie. Luckily, it’s a very tasty exception. Find Smith’s recipe for Atlantic Beach Pie below:

Atlantic Beach Pie

1 ½ sleeves saltine crackers
1/3 to ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
½ cup lemon or lime juice, or a mix of the two
Fresh whipped cream and sea salt, for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush the crackers finely, but not to dust. You can use a food processor or your hands. Add the sugar, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough. Press into an 8-inch pie pan. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little.
  2. While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t need to be cold), beat the egg yolks into the milk, then beat in the citrus juice. It is important to completely combine these ingredients. Pour into the shell and bake for 16 minutes until the filling has set. The pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt.


  1. Melody

    June 12, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    I have lived in NC since late 1978 (moved from ks) and wish I had known about this pie years ago. It is the best pie I have ever had- easy to make , calls for a few simple ingredients that are easy to get anywhere. You don’t have to go to some out of the way store to make this pie – it is just awesome all the way around!

  2. Jenny

    September 20, 2017 at 10:06 am

    made this pie last week, OMG!!! So easy to make and the sweet salty taste is tongue tingling.

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