Best Atlantic Beach Pie Recipe

Caitlin Bensel

A delicious cousin to the classic lime pie and lemon ice cream pie, Atlantic Beach Pie is a lemon dessert that deserves a spot on your must-have list. With its citrus filling, puffy whipped cream filling, and extra thick, crispy cracker crust, this is one of the easiest pie recipes to make and chill.

Why is it called Atlantic Beach Pie?


Atlantic Beach Pie owes its popularity to Bill Smith, the owner of the former Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was inspired by his childhood trips to Atlantic beaches in North Carolina to create this easy pie with its salty, crumbly cracker crust.

Why does it have a cracker crust?

Many frozen pie recipes call for graham cracker crusts, but this cracker crust probably owes its existence to leaner times when sugar was too expensive or scarce. Although it may seem strange at first, one bite and you’ll be addicted to the sweet and salty crunch!

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

If bottled juice is the only thing on hand, it will do in this recipe. However, for the best Atlantic Beach Pie, it’s worth the extra effort to squeeze the fresh juice. The flavor is more energetic, smooth and vibrant, which makes the finished pie so much more delicious.

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Preparation time:





Total time:





For the dough:

1 1/2

saltine cracker sleeves (6 oz.)

1/2 tsp.

unsalted butter, softened

For the filling:


14 oz sweetened condensed milk

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

The pie can be prepared up to a day in advance. Just top it with whipped cream and citrus slices before serving!

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