Atlantic Beach Pie

This recipe, in all its strange simplicity, is by far my favorite pie I have ever eaten. Luscious lemon custard fills a buttery Saltine crust. Once cool, swathe a cloud of our favorite, old reliable, Cool Whip. Equal parts basic and somehow, unexpected, this pie is a luxuriously delicious reinvention of nostalgic pantry staples. You won’t know what hit you.

Atlantic Beach Pie
Adapted from Food 52
Makes one 8-9-inch pie

1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers (about 6 ounces or 60 crackers)
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar

One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup lemon or lime juice or a mix of the two

To serve:
Cool Whip, thawed, for garnish
Coarse sea salt (optional), for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Crush the crackers finely, but not to dust. You can use a food processor or your hands. Add the sugar, then knead in 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 is golden brown. While the crust is cooling (it doesn’t need 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 shell and bake for 16 minutes until the filling has set. The pie needs to be completely cold to be sliced. Serve with Cool Whip and a sprinkling of sea salt, if using.

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