Summer Pie to Die For: Atlantic Beach Lemon-Lime Pie

One of my favorite questions to ask people:

“If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could choose only one food, any food, prepared to your specifications, what would it be?”

For me, hands down, it’s Atlantic Beach Lemon-Lime Pie, created by Bill Smith, chef at Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Here's my version.
Here’s my version.

I heard about the pie after listening to this NPR story.  In it, Cookbook writer, Katie Workman describes the pie as “the most amazing pie I think I’ve ever had.”

That was enough to get me over to Crook’s Corner a day later.

This is how it was served to me.  IMG 5058

After that first bite, I knew I’d be making this pie within the week.

Bill Smith said it’s the easiest pie to make and it takes under five minutes of prep time.   That works for me.

The secret to this pie?

IMG_5166Yep, Saltines!

And some butter and a little sugar.  That’s it. IMG_5165What I really like about making this is how fun it feels to crush a ton of crackers with your hands.  Just feels right.

So go ahead and crush those crackers.


The saltines, sugar and butter create a slightly chunky crust.  I could just eat that and be happy.

Hot out of the oven.
Hot out of the oven.

When you pair that with a custardy combination of lemon and lime (1/2 cup),  sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.) and four egg yolks topped with fresh whipped cream, you may need to put your fork down, close your eyes and savor the moment.

The pie rendered me momentarily speechless. IMG 5142

It’s like key lime pie, but better.

IMG 5143
Yes, that’s Cool Whip in the background. Don’t judge me.

You can check out Bill Smith’s recipe here.  I followed NPR’s version of the recipe and split the lemon and lime juice 50/50.

This has been a public service announcement.

Happy Summer to you.

Eat some pie.








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