a love story told by the pound

Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach Pie is your summer savior. Short bake time, easy to throw together with pantry ingredients and the perfect marriage of salty and sweet.

When I was younger, my cousin Ashley and I would eat saltine crackers topped with spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream. While I would love to say that my palate was sophisticated enough to figure out that this odd combination worked, I can’t take the credit. It was all Ashley, that girl was far ahead of her time. She passed away when we were 17 years old and a lot of the memories I have of us (we were inseparable) are food related. Dissolving into a fit of giggles over a bowl of plain buttered noodles, downing bag after bag of Doritos while watching MTV (we didn’t have cable at our house) and microwaving these little boxes of fries that were literally the best snack ever (we didn’t have a microwave at home either).

I know what you’re thinking and no, I didn’t grow up in a cave, detached from society. We just didn’t have those extras at my house. Which is why in the summer we would ride our bikes to Ashley’s house and spend our days there. Lounging lakeside, eating junk food and enjoying the freedom of being a kid in the 90’s. Some days I wish I could go back to that Ann and shake some sense into her. Tell her to make every moment count because life gets much more complicated and stressful down the road. Other days, I realize that 90’s Ann did make every moment count by not agonizing over making every moment the perfect moment.

Now I’ve started to ramble and this post was supposed to be about pie. A simple pie. A pie to celebrate the little things and memories of saltine cracker and vanilla ice cream sandwiches.

Atlantic Beach Pie is a new favorite for me. I had printed the recipe out a long time ago with plans to make it for a holiday. The problem was that this recipe was so simple I thought it couldn’t be anything holiday worthy so I passed it up for something more complicated. I have found out that I am almost always wrong about these types of things. When in doubt, go for simplicity. This pie is AMAZING. The sweet, tart filling against that salty sweet crust. O.M.G. It doesn’t get any better than that. Make this pie. Make it NOW!

Atlantic Beach Pie

adapted from Bill Smith’s recipe found here


1 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers (NOT the unsalted variety)

3 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/2 cup softened butter


1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon or lime juice (or a mix of both which is what I did)

Whipped cream and course sea salt for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place crackers in a bowl and crush with your hands. You want about pea sized crumbs. Add the sugar, then knead in the butter until the crumbs hold together. Press into an 8 inch pie tin. Chill for 15 minutes then carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the crust browns slightly. While the crust is cooling prepare the filling. Combine the egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk. Whisk in the lemon and/or lime juice until filling is smooth and combined. Pour into the crust (crust does not have to be completely cooled). Bake for 15-17 minutes until the filling has set. Cool completely on wire rack then transfer to refrigerator and cool for at least 4-6 hours. Top with fresh whipped cream and sea salt.

Slow down and enjoy the moment! Both the sweet and the salty.



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2 thoughts on “Atlantic Beach Pie”

  • ANN! I just enjoyed a slice of this Atlantic Beach Pie that YOU MADE for Deb Reinke. It is such a refreshing change–satisfying the salty-sweet-TART rage that we all crave now. I’m not a fan of graham cracker crusts–if I have to use, it’s a mere ‘dust’ of crumbs. So I’ve done pretzles, flour & walnuts/pecans, shortbread . . . now, you’ve given me my new go-to: SALTINES!
    This pie is a winner! I can’t use enough exclamation points 🙂 in my THANK YOU for the recipes, both crust AND filling. THANK YOU! and Bill Smith.

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