i decided to have some fun on thanksgiving and all at the expense of my family and guests. they were kind enough to play along-some more than others (kids-what are you gonna do with them?) and they were served a pie and told to guess what i made it from. it kinda looked like it could be some sort of squash pie but alas, it wasn't...only one of our guests was able to figure it out-and he nailed it!
the inspiration for this pie came from my job. every day, or at least it seems like every day, i partially bake pie shells for use in my pie recipes. to do this, i line each pie shell with a restaurant sized coffee filter and fill that with pinto beans. the beans act as a weight and keep the crust from puffing up. the running joke is that the bean pies must be popular since i bake so many...yes, those are crickets chirping-i don't find the joke very funny either; after hearing it on a nearly daily basis for 7 years, can you blame me? so anyway, what was funny though was the day one of my latino coworkers had the realization that if she bakes those bean pies every day, they must taste good-he then proceeded to taste some of the beans. did i mention that i reuse the beans, a lot, until they stink so bad that i replace them? we never did talk about those beans he tasted and trust me, he never tasted another. but anyway, i came across a recipe for navy bean pie in an old farm journal cookbook and decided to give it a try but not tell anyone what was in the filling.
a few notes, first of all, anytime i am going to fill a pie shell with a custard filling, i partially bake it to be sure that the bottom crust is baked and not gummy when the pie filling is finished baking. the recipe calls for evaporated milk which is something i never use and i have found that half and half is a perfect substitution. to save time, i used canned beans that were drained and rinsed and then pureed in a food processor.
white bean pie
1 (9") pie serving 8-10
adapted from farm journals navy bean pie recipe
1 (9") pie crust must be an extra deep crust or a 10" crust, partially baked
2 (15) ounce cans white beans-i used great northern beans
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
12 ounces half and half
preheat the oven to 350. place the partially baked pie shell on a sturdy baking sheet to make placing it in the oven and removing it a little easier. drain and rinse the beans and then place them into the bowl of a food processor. add the brown sugar and pulse to combine and then run till smooth taking the time to scrape the bowl a few times to get every last bean pureed. add the honey and spices and pulse to combine. add the eggs and run till smooth, scraping the machine at least once. finally, add the half and half and combine. pour it into the prepared pie shell and bake until it is set, 50-55 minutes. allow it to cool and serve it as you would serve a pumpkin pie.
and there you have it, the last pie...on wards and all that to what ever comes next. bake one and send me a photo, i will post it here. may the power of pie see you safely through the next year...
oh, by the way, do you remember when i was baking pies with my daughters? my younger daughter, devon and i baked an apple pie together. well, she is currently living in northern california with her grandparents while she attends school. they were having a little pre-thanksgiving thanksgiving dinner and she baked one with her grandmother.
and here it is! they used the same recipe that she and i used, the one straight out of my book. looks beautiful and they enjoyed the pie! so get in that kitchen with a kid or a grandparent or somebody else that is truly important to you and bake some sweet memories! you will have more than fun, you will have a memory that will last much longer than that pie no matter how it turns out!!!