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Original Atlantic Beach Pie

Southern recipes are my jam. I feel a connection to them since I’m a Southern gal and travel around the SouthEast for leisure. I was introduced to this Atlantic Beach Pie recipe when visiting North Carolina. It starts with a unique saltine cracker crust and then it’s filled with a refreshing lemon-lime custard, and finished with fresh whipped topping. It’s the perfect light summer dessert!

This is the Original Atlantic Beach Pie recipe! Made with a saltine cracker crust, lemon-lime custard filling and topped with whipped cream.

The History of Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach is located in North Carolina and part of the Crystal Coast. Some people refer to the pie as “Atlantic Beach Lemon Pie” but it’s delicious no matter what you call it. The origins of the pie are a bit twisted, but we know it’s a coastal dessert that’s popular along the Atlantic seaboard. It’s rumored that the pie originated in the 1970s at a restaurant called “The Atlantic,” located in nearby town of Morehead City, but that’s not confirmed.

When To Make Atlantic Beach Pie

This is such a summer dessert. Even though fresh fruit isn’t required, fresh juice makes it even better. I like to serve it at BBQ’s and warm weather gatherings. It’s the perfect dessert after a heavy meal when you want something light. I stay away from heavy chocolate desserts and opt for this Atlantic Beach Pie instead. Everyone loves the salty crust and the smooth custard filling. It’s sweet, salty, and a little tart!

Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe
The Original Atlantic Beach Pie recipe is so refreshing! It’s sweet, salty and tart!

Atlantic Beach Pie Ingredients

Any baker can make this pie. I promise it’s super easy! It’s just time consuming. You have to wait for the pie crust to set before baking and then you have to wait for the custard to set. Be patient and ensure you allow plenty of time before serving the pie at an event.

  • Saltine Crackers: this is what makes the pie so unique! Crushed saltine crackers can be made with a rolling pin or a food processor.
  • Unsalted Butter: this adds richness to the pie.
  • Granulated Sugar: the sweetness balances the salty crust.
  • Egg White: this will assist in the pie crust staying together.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk: it adds sweetness and texture to the custard filling.
  • Egg Yolks: the yolks create the custard texture in the filling.
  • Fresh Lemon and Lime Juice: fresh is always best, but if you need to use bottled, go for it.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: makes the fluffy topping. I save a little bit for my coffee too.
  • Powdered Sugar: this will sweeten the cream.
  • Lemon and Lime Zests: this adds extra flavor and color to the top of the pie!

How To Prepare The Pie Ahead of Time & Store Leftovers

Please allow yourself plenty of time to make the pie before serving. The custard needs to set in the fridge before adding the whipped topping. I make the pie and let it refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Some bakers say you have to make the whipped topping at the last minute before serving, but I find that’s not true. I make mine an refrigerate it in a food storage container. Then, I spoon it on right before serving a top with zest!

Once your pie is done being served, add plastic wrap to the top and refrigerate. Keep it refrigerated. For best freshness, enjoy the pie within 4-5 days of baking. We hardly have leftovers because everyone asks for second servings!

How To Make The Original Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together crushed crackers, melted butter, sugar, and egg white in a medium bowl until combined.

Making the Saltine Crust in bowl

Transfer mixture to a 9-inch glass pie plate; firmly press on bottom and sides. Freeze 10 minutes.

Making the pie crust in the pan

Bake in preheated oven until crust is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in lime juice and lemon juice until combined. Pour lime mixture into warm crust.

Atlantic Beach Pie filling

Bake at 350°F until center is just set, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Beat cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in a stand mixer, on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Spread whipped cream topping over chilled pie, leaving about a ½-inch border of custard showing around crust. Garnish with lemon and lime zests, if desired. 

Topped with whipped cream and zest
Yield: 8 Servings

Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

This Atlantic Beach Pie recipe is the original! It's sweet, salty and tart with a lemon-lime custard filling. It's perfect for summer occasions!

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups finely crushed saltine crackers (from 1 sleeve, about 37 crackers)
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 (14-oz.) Can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 Large egg yolks
  • 1/4 Cup fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
  • 1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 Cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 Cup powdered sugar
  • Optional: Lemon and lime zests, for garnish

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir together crushed crackers, melted butter, sugar, and egg white in a medium bowl until combined.
    2. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch glass pie plate; firmly press on bottom and sides. Freeze 10 minutes.
    3. Bake in preheated oven until crust is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, whisk together condensed milk and egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in lime juice and lemon juice until combined. Pour lime mixture into warm crust.
    5. Bake at 350°F until center is just set, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
    6. Beat cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in a stand mixer, on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Spread whipped cream topping over chilled pie, leaving about a ½-inch border of custard showing around crust. Garnish with lemon and lime zests, if desired. 

Notes

  • Refrigerate leftover pie. Cover with plastic wrap. For best freshness, enjoy within 4-5 days of baking.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 214mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 7g

**Nutrition is calculated by a third party. Actual values may vary,

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