A while ago I heard about a lemon pie, a North Carolina lemon pie, that changed my life.
Well not really but I wanted to get your attention. It is that good.
“A North Carolina Pie That Elicits an ‘Oh My God’ Response” ran on NPR’s All Things Considered‘s Found Recipes series courtesy of Katie Workman, who is fab.
Katie is the author of The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket. She says the Atlantic Beach Pie from Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C., is the best pie she’s ever had. Crook’s Corner Chef Bill Smith calls it the easiest recipe in the world.
You do not have to tell me this twice. Even Rancho La Zaca Chef Stephanie Valentine loves it, which is saying something.
You may recall I mentioned this lemon pie earlier as a suggestion following the recently posted Perfect One-dish Summer Supper (link here). And I got to thinking it seemed churlish of me not to include the recipe, so here it is, via NPR.org and Katie Workman.
- 1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 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 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 colors a little.
- 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 fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt.
But here’s what I can’t get over. My sister and I practically lived at Atlantic Beach in the summers growing up, and I do not remember this pie. Are we the only children who did not have this pie? Was there a conspiracy? Should I call somebody? Would the NSA be keeping tabs on this? Does anyone have Edward Snowden’s email?