Bill Smith’s Atlantic Beach Pie
- 1½ sleeves of saltine crackers
- ⅓–½ cup softened unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup lemon or lime juice or a mix of the two
- Fresh whipped cream and coarse sea salt for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush the crackers finely, but not to dust. You can use a food processor or your hands. Add the sugar, then knead the butter until the crumbs hold together like dough. Press into an 8-inch pie pan. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust colors a little.
While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t have to be cold), beat the egg yolks into the milk, then beat in the citrus juice. It is important to completely combine these ingredients. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 16 minutes until the filling has set. The pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced. Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt.
Crook’s Corner has been a landmark restaurant on West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill for more than 30 years. Chef Bill Smith succeeded Bill Neal here, and both are local heroes. This pie recipe is included in his book “Seasoned in the South” (Algonquin, 2005), more than 100 recipes and stories from his life growing up in eastern North Carolina to years in the kitchen at Crook’s Corner.
Open Tuesday-Sunday at 5:30
Sunday brunch 10:30–2
610 West Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC