Best Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

Caitlin Pencil

A delicious cousin to the classic lime pie and lemon icing pie, the Atlantic Beach pie is a lemonade that deserves a spot on your must-make list. With a graceful citrus filling, puffy whipped cream, and a thick, crunchy cracker crust, it’s one of the easiest pancake recipes available.

Why is it called Atlantic Beach Pie?

The Atlantic Beach Pie owes its popularity to Bill Smith, the former owner of Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He drew inspiration from his childhood trips to the Atlantic beaches of North Carolina to create this easy pie with its signature crumbly and salty crust.

Why does it have a cracking crust?

Many icing pie recipes call for a graham cracker crust, but this salty cracker crust probably owes its existence to less dense times when sugar was expensive or scarce. Although it may seem strange at first, one bite will be hooked on the sweet and savory crunch!

Can I use bottled lemon and lime juice in an Atlantic Beach Pie?

If bottled juice is the only thing available, it will come in handy in this recipe. However, for the best Atlantic Beach pie, it’s worth the extra effort to squeeze the juice fresh. The flavor is more subtle, sweet and vibrant, which makes the finished pie that much more delicious.

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Preparation time:





total time:





For the crust:

1 1/2

Pretzel Sleeves (6 ounces).

1/2 c.

unsalted butter, soft

to fill in:


14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

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  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust: Crush the crackers coarsely (you should get about 2 1/2 cups). Combine the crushed biscuits, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until well blended and the crumbs hold together when pressed with your fingers. Press crust mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Bake the crust on the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Leave the crust aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  3. For the filling: Beat sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, lemon juice and lime juice until smooth. Pour the filling into the baked crust. Return the pie to the oven and bake until the center of the filling is set, about 15 minutes. Chill the pie on a wire rack at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate it to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Top the pie with whipped cream (or whipped cream) and citrus slices just before serving.

The pie can be made up to a day in advance – just put the whipped cream and citrus slices on top before serving!

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