Molasses baked beans with apple and sage – classic comfort food with a twist…
I don’t know how old I was when I finally decided I liked baked beans.
Baked beans were a common Saturday night supper when I was growing up, along with molasses brown bread. And when I was really little mom would sometimes add chopped hot dogs to the baked beans, I suppose to make the meal more palatable to those of us who hadn’t yet acquired a taste for them.
But then one day I had leftover baked beans at breakfast, alongside fried eggs, and it was like an epiphany.
The layered flavours of sweet and smoke, and the soft texture of the beans made me realize how satisfying they are, in the comfort food sort of way.
Today I still love baked beans best with breakfast (with a poached egg) but they’re a side dish that can go with so many foods.
I don’t know how long it will take my kids to develop a taste for real baked beans.
In the meantime, I’ll keep getting them to taste each batch I bake and hope for the best.
I have high hopes that they’ll love this new recipe. Based on a recipe from East Coast Living magazine, this version of baked beans is filled with apples and seasoned with sage, which add a new dimension to the flavour and makes them especially well-suited to fall.
I usually have cooked navy beans in the freezer, which comes in handy when I want to make recipes that call for dried beans. If you’re using already cooked beans, two cups of dried beans equals 51/2 to 6 cups of cooked beans.
Not a fan of sage? Substitute thyme for the sage called for in the recipe.
Apple Sage Baked Beans
- 2 cups dried white beans (navy is my favourite)
- 1 slice bacon (omit for vegetarian/vegan version)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 apples, peeled and cut in chunks
- 1/2 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage (or ½-1 Tbsp. dried)*
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Generous pinch of pepper
- 1 1/2 cups water
*Can substitute thyme.
- Soak 2 cups of dried navy or white beans in water overnight.
- The next day, drain the beans, put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Fry the bacon (if using), discard pan drippings and roughly chop.
- Drain the beans and put them in a large ovenproof pot with a tight fitting lid, or a bean crock. Add the bacon, chopped carrot, onion and apple.
- Mix together the molasses, maple syrup, Dijon, sage, garlic, salt, pepper and water and pour over the beans. (Add additional water, if required, so beans are just covered.).
- Cover the pot and cook at 275 F for 4-6 hours, until tender. Stir occasionally and add water if necessary so the beans do not dry out. Take the lid off for the last hour of cooking to help the beans brown and to thicken the sauce.
One more thing…
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