Unless you’re from the South, you’ve probably never even heard of Pinto Bean Pie. We know what you’re thinking – “beans in a pie?!” – but trust us, it works and it’s delicious.
A bit of history
So, what’s the deal with beans going in a dessert anyway? Well, the history of these types of pies dates back to The Great Depression when people had to make do with whatever food and supplies they had lying around. In the South, the cookers in the household, typically moms and grandmas, did whatever they could to stretch their family’s dollar as far as possible.
Well, of course, just because times are tough doesn’t mean you’re going to deprive yourself the simple joys of dessert! So, just like they would add mayonnaise to chocolate cake, they added pinto beans to their pecan pies! By substituting mashed beans, it was a way to add a lovely creaminess without having to spend money on expensive pecans.
“In the 1970s bean pies were wildly popular by the followers of Elijah Muhammad or Black Muslims, as they had come to be known, due to the religion’s outlook on navy beans. According to Islam law, people could not consume foods such as pork, spinach, sweet potatoes, and lima beans, however, navy beans were looked upon as practically holy in the eyes of their God. “How To Eat To Live:”, published by the Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in the 1960s, shares, “He [God] said that He could take one of our babies and start him off eating the dry small navy bean soup, and make that child live 240 years.” Today the pies are found in black households during the holiday season,” says Wide Open Eats.
So, how do you make it?
A delicious, crowd-pleasing pinto bean pie is so easy to make it’s almost silly. It’s the perfect dessert to make for guests when you’re on a budget or simply want to make something a little more untraditional (unless you’re from the South, of course!).
Gather these ingredients:
- 9-inch unbaked pie crust
- 1 teaspoon cornmeal
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pinto beans drained and slightly mashed
- 1/2 cup halved pecans
The simple instructions:
First, preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Next, sprinkle your pie crust with the cornmeal and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, both sugars, butter, vanilla extract, nutmeg, and pinto beans. Stir together until all ingredients form a filling. Pour the filling into the pie crust and sprinkle the top with halved pecans. Bake for 60 minutes or until you see the filling has started to set. Serve warm! And, of course, it is always served best with a little vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
How easy was that? Be sure to bring this unique, sweet treat to your next get together. Want some visual aids to help you prepare it? Check out the video below.
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Source: Wide Open Eats