Atlantic Beach Pie

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A cross between lemon meringue and key lime pies, this salty beauty combines a saltine cracker crust with a lemon-lime custard filling and topped with heaps of whipped cream.  And a sprinkle of flaky sea salt because the Atlantic is salty and it just makes sense.

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Tradition has it that this pie originated from North Carolina’s Atlantic coast as the only dessert some restaurants served.  I found this recipe on Food52’s website from chef Bill Smith from Crook’s Corner in NC.  A couple tries and a few tweaks produced a great pie that was a break from a traditional pie-crust fruit-filled pie.

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In fact, Atlantic beach pie is the one to make if you have a fear of making pie dough!  This is one area I still struggle with…my last pie attempt resulted in a tear in the dough that spilled all of my filling under the already-underfilled pie crust and fused the dough to the pie plate.  We ate what we could out of the plate while I hysterically laughed at just how bad the pie had turned out.  It was still delicious and I’m not giving up!

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The saltine crust here is as easy to pull together as a basic graham cracker crust with not a finicky step to be found.  The filling is usually the star, but the crust is what makes this pie special.  It’s very crumbly so process the crackers until you have relatively fine crumbs while leaving some chunky bits, and scoop the crumbs left in the pan on top of your slice because we believe in no man left behind.  Especially when the “man” is salty, butter cracker crumbs.

And make sure you understand what size pie plate the recipe calls for so your filling actually fills your crust! A standard pie plate is usually between 1 and 2″ deep (like this! or this!), while a deep-dish pie plate is usually between 2.5 to 3″ (this is mine!)*.  You can use either one for any recipe, but you will have to adjust accordingly.

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This tart, salty-sweet pie is perfect for a lazy day when you want to transport yourself to the beach.  So I think that means it’s perfect for any day, right?!

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Atlantic Beach Pie

  • Author: Amanda
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Pies & Tarts

Description

A cross between lemon meringue and key lime pies, this salty beauty combines a saltine cracker crust with a lemon-lime custard filling and topped with heaps of whipped cream.  And a sprinkle of flaky sea salt because the Atlantic is salty and it just makes sense.


Ingredients

SALTINE CRUST:

  • 6 ounces saltine crackers (about 1-1/2 sleeves)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

FILLING:

  • 8 egg yolks
  • Two 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice (about 3 to 4 lemons)

WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Crush the saltine crackers finely, leaving a few small chunks.  Add the sugar and stir to combine.  Add the melted butter and combine thoroughly, until all of the crumbs are moistened.  Press into the bottom and up the sides 9-inch pie dish that is at least 2 inches deep.  Ensure that the crumbs are firmly pressed in the dish; this crust is more crumbly than a standard crumb crust and needs to be tightly packed.  Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown and set.  Cool the crust before filling.
  3. For the filling: whisk the egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl until completely homogenous.  Add the sweetened condensed milk and citrus juices and completely combine. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 23 to 26 minutes, until set but still slightly jiggly in the center. Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before refrigerating for at least 2 hours.  
  4. For the whipped cream: Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk the cream until frothy and slightly thickened.  Add confectioners’ sugar to your taste and vanilla and continue to whisk until medium peaks form.  Spoon the whipped cream on the chilled pie.
  5. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if desired.

Notes

Inspiration: Atlantic Beach Pie on food52.com

 

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