Maple-Baked Apple Butter Beans
|Source||Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman|
|Prep time||3 hours|
|Cooking time||30 minutes|
|Total time||3 hours, 30 minutes|
This recipe calls for kombu, a kelp sea green that we stock with the bulk spices. The kelp contains a natural acid that tenderizes the beans as the seaweed itself melts away, leaving behind a luxurious sauce with complex flavor. For this recipe, it is not necessary to soak the dry beans before cooking. Other local dried beans would work well in this recipe including Jacobs Cattle and Soldier Beans.
Preheat the oven to 300º.
Put the oil in a large ovenproof pot or casserole with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the apple butter and stir for about a minute until deeply colored. Stir in 6 cups of water. Add the kombu, beans, maple syrup, and mustard.
Cover and bake for 2 hours. Stir, then add water if needed to keep the beans covered, then cover again and cook until the beans are completely cooked, another 30 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir well to help break up the kombu, then taste and add more maple syrup or mustard if you like. Turn the oven up to 400º. Return the pot to the oven, uncovered, and bake until the beans are creamy and the liquid has thickened, another 30 minutes or so. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.