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 300 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.