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Atlantic Beach Tidal Wave Pie

Look out y’all, here comes my Atlantic Beach “Tidal Wave” Pie! It’s a sweet and savory work of art, full of tart and crunch. Adapted from Bill Smith's Atlantic Beach Pie, my recipe increases the distinctive (and scrumptious) buttery saltine cracker crust by 25% and almost doubles the filling for an extra tidal wave of YUM.

Atlantic Beach Tidal Wave Pie

Serves 8 to 12


Together, the crust and filling of this exceptional dessert create, for me, the ultimate taste sensation, so I skip the original recipe’s layer of whipped topping. I also add a bit of salt to the filling in place of the frequent final sea salt garnish. Your family and guests will go back for thirds!


2 sleeves of saltine crackers, crushed

2 sticks butter, room temperature

3 tablespoons sugar

2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk

8 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup fresh lemon & fresh lime juice (about 4 lemons and 6 limes)


With food processor or hands, crush crackers into large crumbs, not powder. Smashing crackers in a big food storage bag also works.


To a large bowl, add crackers, sugar, butter. With hands, form into a pebbly dough. Press evenly into a 9" pie plate. Around the ring of the plate finish the crust in a flat circle like a swimming pool ledge. Note: some of the saltine mixture will stick to your hands and might even tumble onto the kitchen counter. No cause for alarm, you will still have plenty left for a proper tidal wave crust.


Chill crust 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Bake crust 14 to 16 minutes till it takes on a bit of golden brown. Let cool. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks into the milk, then beat in salt, lemon and lime juices. Combine thoroughly so filling doesn't separate during baking.


You may not need all the filling mixture. Pour it into the crust so it overflows the "swimming pool ledge" of the crust just a bit (like a tidal wave), but don't let it go all the way to the edge. Refrigerate any remaining filling in a coffee cup for a sweet treat a few hours later! Bake pie 18 to 20 minutes till the filling sets. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.


Garnish with slices of lime, or however the spirit moves you!

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