Atlantic Beach Pie | July 30, 2023


With a Saltine cracker crust and whipped cream topping, Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie first broke onto the culinary scene in 2011 to wide acclaim. Indeed, since then, this North Carolina native boasting a lemon-lime filling has become a veritable staple of the Southern culinary repertoire, particularly well-suited to sweltering summer days. Simply put: If you’re a fan of lemon pie or Key lime pie, you’ll love this.

What Is Atlantic Beach Pie?
Inspired by the lemon pie served at the seafood restaurants of Chef Bill Smith’s North Carolina childhood, Atlantic Beach Pie is a super-simple citrus concoction marrying the brightness of lemon with the zing of lime. Smith, the long-time chef of Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, juxtaposes the creamy filling, with its explosion of citrus flavor, with a crust made from crushed Saltine crackers with a hint of salt and a smooth, silky whipped cream that crowns it all.

“Not only is it really good, but absolutely anyone can make it,” says Smith of his famed Atlantic Beach Pie, and indeed, this pie couldn’t be easier—or more rewarding—to make.

Atlantic Beach Pie Ingredients
Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie recipe begins with a sweet-and-savory combo of crushed Saltine crackers, butter, and sugar. Bound with egg white, the crust is the perfect vessel for the rich, creamy filling, made with lemon and lime juices enriched with sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. If you don’t have both lemons and limes on-hand, don’t worry: You could easily opt for just one or the other for a less complex but equally delicious pie.


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