After a very long, cold winter, I delight in the knowledge that spring is just around the corner. With this comes a new batch of freshly made local maple syrup. I always serve it over our pancakes. It is the key ingredient in my butter tarts, sugar pie, creme brulee, salad dressings and baked beans. I just came across this recipe from Madame Benoit for her families’ recipe for maple baked beans, topped with apples and rum. The recipe was in her family for six generations. I hope you enjoy it too! We have sold for many, many years maple syrup from our friends Jean and Gary Ivens. It has been a family-run maple syrup operation since 1870. It’s nice to support locally produced foods and their maple syrup is wonderful!
MAPLE SYRUP-RUM BAKED BEANS
4 cups dried Great Northern beans (We carry these beans at Sharyn’s Pantry- they are hands down the very best beans for baked beans. Far superior to navy beans.)
rapidly boiling water to cover
2 tbsp. molasses
1 lb. slab bacon
1 large onion
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. coarse salt
4 apples, unpeeled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup rum
-Pick over the dried beans and rinse thoroughly in cold water.
-Place them in a large pot and add boiling water to cover them.
-Stir in the molasses.
-Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Then uncover and place the pot on the stove. Bring to a rapid boil using the same water.
-Cover the beans and allow to simmer for about 1- 1/2 hours or until the beans are starting to become tender.
-The cooking time will vary according to the age and dryness of the beans.
-Never add salt at this stage as it hardens the beans.
-Meanwhile, slice the bacon and use it to line the bottom of your bean pot, placing the remaining slices here and there in the beans.
-Now pour the beans and the water they have been simmering in, into the bean pot.
-Peel the onion but leave it whole. Roll it in the dry mustard until all of the mustard sticks to it. Bury the onion in the middle of the pot of beans.
-Pour the maple syrup over the beans and bacon and sprinkle with the salt.
-Cover the bean pot and slow bake for 4 to 5 hours in a 325 degree F. oven.
-After 3 to 4 hours, stir to mix. If the top is dry, add hot water slowly to cover. Return to the oven.
-Core the apples but keep them whole, if possible. In the last hour of cooking, uncover the beans and place the apples on top of the beans, as close together as possible. If the opening of the pot is larger than the 4 apples will cover, cut the apples in half.
-Cream together the brown sugar and butter and spread this over top of the apples.
-Leave the cover off the bean pot now and continue to bake the beans for another hour or so.
-As the beans finish baking, the apple cover forms a delicious topping.
-Pour the rum over top of the apples just before serving.
-Serve a portion of apple with each serving of baked beans.
-This serves 10 to 12.