Thursday, September 09, 2010

Pinto Bean What??

Pinto Bean PieI'm guessing plenty of you out there are going to take one look at this and say, "D'uh!"

But honestly, I really didn't expect it to be that bad. I have this explicit faith in recipes, common sense, the human palate and food bloggers--that somehow each is enough of a safe guard that together they prevent disasters like this from actually making it to your table but what can I say? Momentary insanity? Sure--that'll work.

Anyway, I found this recipe on a rather trusted food blog I frequent and I thought, "Hmmmm . . . pinto bean pie? Now that's interesting. I wonder if it's any good? How funky would that be if it was tasty?"

Which is probably where my road to insanity started. It didn't help that I was in the process of soaking beans overnight to make chili when my stove suddenly had electrical problems and shut down (turns out it was the connection to the outlet and easily fixed) but the mini disaster left me with a whole pot full of beans and nothing immediate to do with them when my cook top was out of commission.

So I pulled out this recipe and gave it a try.

I was told (and incorrectly I will add) that the "texture and flavor is like pumpkin pie." I happen to love pumpkin pie. I've eaten lots of pumpkin pie. I know pumpkin pie and you, sir, are no pumpkin pie!

Too thick, too beany in its consistency, too flavorless and too dry. The recipe claimed it was a "Depression-era pie, rather like vinegar pie" (wow, another winner--wonder why we don't see Sara Lee going to town with that one?) but historical significance didn't change the fact that it was not, I repeat NOT, a good dessert. None of us finished our piece--and let me tell you, this is a family that is addicted to sugar as bad as any street junkie. They must have their fix each night and if I don't have dessert ready after dinner they'll pull out graham crackers and Nutella for a hit but not even that was enough to get them to finish it, they just ate the whipped cream and part of the crust and left the rest to rot.

When I told them where I'd come up with such a crazy recipe and why I thought it had been worth a go as a vintage classic ripe for revival Grace piped up with, "Well there's your problem. You said it was from the Depression. Depression, Mom. As in 'depressing'? And though they call it the 'Great' Depression this pie proves there was nothing 'great' about it."

And we all agreed.

But in case you're wondering what it has in it . . . just don't say I didn't warn you.

1 1/2 cups of unseasoned cooked pinto beans (can use a one 15oz. can if you prefer)
1 cup of light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon clove
A pinch of salt

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugar, butter and eggs in blender.

Add the beans, and blend until it’s thick and smooth. Add the spices and vanilla.

Pour pie filling into an unbaked pie shell, and bake for one hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

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Jolanthe said...

You are hilarious. And way braver than I would have been. Love Grace's response. :)

Susan Tidwell said...

Too funny! Reminds me of the recipe I heard about at Weight Watchers for a chocolate cake made with sauerkraut - eeew! But the ladies all praised it, said it made it very moist, but admitted it was much better with cool whip or better yet ice cream on top (isn't everything?). Thanks for the morning smile.

Becky said...

Sounds like the time someone submitted a recipe for Pinto Bean Fudge in our "Using Your Food Storage" booklets.

Pinto Bean Fudge?! I don't think so...

Kathy G said...

You reminded me of the time I tried a recipe for Black Bean Brownies. They were so bad; not even the chocolate and sugar could redeem them.

Reno said...

I have sampled the pinto bean fudge and it was actually good.

Unknown said...

Um, all I can say is that I'm glad the worst of my morning sickness is over! The thought of eating bean pie just turns my tummy--and I like beans, and I like pie. Some things should not be combined!

Way to be brave though. Interesting experiment!

Kim said...

Hilarious! At least it LOOKED good on the plate.

[Stacia] said...

Gross! I will say though, brownies made with black beans aren't bad if you do it right!
Oh, and couldn't you use your crock pot for the chilli? That's the only way I make it!

luke said...

There is a lovely little cafe in Bicknell, UT (in Wayne county) called the SunGlow Cafe that serves pinto bean pie, relish pie, and oatmeal pie along with more traditional flavors. They are all really good, but I am partial to the oatmeal pie.

Mirien said...

It's good to have a few recipe flops--they make great family memories. My kids love to talk about the tofu cheesecake (I know--what was I thinking??) or the barley gazpacho. They get worse and worse with each retelling. But sometimes those strange ingredients are amazing--like your cashew alfredo sauce or my friend's garbonzo bean chocolate cake. You just never know, and that is why I probably would have tried the pinto bean pie, too. But only once.

Shoebox Princess said...

Also do not ever ever ever bread fish fillets with pinto bean flour. Yuck.

Scribbit said...

I'm sure I could have but the time was an issue--it takes so long to cook and my crockpot doesn't heat very well. It's truly a slow cooker.

CountessLaurie said...

I have a new-found respect for anyone who had to live through the great Depression and this pie.

My heart hurts for them.

Anonymous said...

Too funny ! I have heard though, that it is very important to rinse canned or soaked beans before using them in baked goods or the recipe tastes too "beany."

Maybe adding applesauce and more of the spices listed could salvage the recipe, but you've already given it a heroic chance.

Anonymous said...

Well, there is a shortage on canned pumpkin.....!

Annie-Savor This Moment said...

A friend of mine made tons of Pinto Pies for a food storage class, but as I recall they were a double crust, and the beans weren't pureed. It was OK, and maybe months without sweets would have made it great, but the graham crackers and Nutella sound much better!

page2 said...

That is hilarious! I will steer clear of bean pie. Once I tried eating pinto bean fudge. It was nasty sludge. I wouldn't recommend that one either.

denise said...

wow. yeah. that sounds gross, and i'm a pretty adventurous eater! ;)

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the Ritz cracker pie that is supposedly just like apple pie. I suppose you could convince someone of that if they had never had apple pie. Or apples for that matter. Or pie.

The Calico Cat said...

I had a bean pie once that was a heck of a lot like a pecan pie...