Recipe Box | A North Carolina Exclusive: Atlantic Beach Pie

Alright y’all (I had to say y’all because this recipe encompasses the lovely, southern state of North Carolina) – so I read about this recipe almost a year ago on NPR‘s website regarding the Atlantic Beach Pie and almost dieeed. I’m a girl who loves sweets and anything that is a. local and b. getting this much attention from a national organization is something that I just have to try! So the long and short of it is, I found an article on NPR about the famous Atlantic Beach Pie that is a staple of the South. The recipe is from Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, NC. Katie Workman, the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket, says it’s the best pie she’s ever had. She states “I think the only reaction I had was, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.’ For quite a while that was pretty much the only thing I could say.” {For more of this story, click here}. I am a Carolina girl (born and bred) and the fact that this was something I had been possibly missing out on all of my life kind of ached my soul. So of course, I had to get on this and make it ASAP.

First and foremost – thank you NPR for sharing this recipe with the world – what a gem! Let me just tell you how awesome this pie was…wowza. It is just as incredible as you would think it would be – it is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. The pie has a tangy, citrus and dense custard-like filling and is topped with light and fluffy homemade whipped cream…HEAVEN. ON. EARTH.

So without further adieu, below is the recipe. Enjoy!



For the crust:

1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers

1/3 to 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter

3 tablespoons sugar


For the filling:

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon or lime juice or a mix of the two (I mixed the two)

Fresh whipped cream (recipe below) and coarse sea salt for garnish


For the fresh whipped cream:

2 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream

2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions for the whipped cream:

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Beat mixture with a whisk until stiff, firm peaks form (if you’re unsure of what this looks like, please take a look here). You’re going to need to practice some patience here – it could take several minutes.
  • Cover and chill.


Directions for the pie:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Crush the crackers finely, but be careful not to crush them too fine or they will turn more into dust. (I used a food processor but you can use your hands.)
  • Add the sugar to the crushed crackers, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough. Press into an 8 inch pie pan.
  • Chill the crust in the pie pan for 15 minutes in the fridge.
  • Take it out and stick it in the oven. Bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little.
  • While the crust is cooling, 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 on top.


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