As part of the Project Threadways Symposium in April, we hosted chef Bill Smith of the renowned Chapel Hill, North Carolina, restaurant Crook’s Corner. Bill has been a chef for 30+ years and provided our guests with a true Southern experience that included one of his well-known signature dishes, Atlantic Beach Pie. It was a celebration of the South from a distinct point of view, benefitting Project Threadways. Bill also contributed to the weekend during our symposium by speaking with Brett Anderson about the material culture of the band tee, specifically his own collection of band tees.
Cocktail hour began with passed appetizers of deviled eggs, chicken liver mousse with onion jam, and pimento cheese with hot pepper jelly, accompanied by beer from Singin’ River Brewery and a rosé sangria.
The evening’s first course brought a white bean and turnip green soup, paired with a 2016 Olivier Rivière La Bastid.
The second course consisted of a salad made with local spring greens and the Crook’s Corner house dressing.
For the third course, guests enjoyed Bill’s braised pork shank, accompanied by pozole, chayote, and salsa ranchero. It was accompanied by a 2015 Suertes del Marqués 7 Fuentes from Spain.
For the dessert, Bill treated the guests with his well-known Atlantic Beach Pie with freshly whipped cream – a vintage salty and sweet confection that Smith brought back into popularity. After being asked to teach about eastern North Carolina’s food traditions by the Southern Foodways Alliance, Bill remembered the summer dessert from his childhood, tweaked the recipe, and made it his own. Enjoy the Atantic Beach Pie at all your summer gatherings with the recipe below.
Atlantic Beach Pie
Makes Two Pies
For the crust:
3 sleeves of saltine cracker
6 tablespoons of sugar
½ pound softened unsalted butter
For the filling:
8 egg yolks
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh lime juice.
Crush the crackers into a coarse meal using your hands or a food processor. Mix in the sugar, then knead in the butter until it holds together like a crumbly dough. Press into two 8-inch pie pans and chill for 15 minutes. When set, bake for 17 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown.
While the crusts are baking, beat the filling ingredients together until they are completely combined. When the crusts are done, pour in the filling. You don’t need to wait for them to cool. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the pies are set at the center.
Chill the pies before cutting. Serve with lightly sweetened, fresh whipped cream sprinkled with coarse sea salt.
We would like to thank Bill for treating our guests to a delicious meal and for supporting Project Threadways. Be on the lookout for more information about our upcoming Friends of the Café dinners.