Jasper White’s delicious Boston Baked Beans with Maple Sugar blends the subtle, purist flavors of New England in a recipe of historic significance. Every forkful a treasure trove of delicate taste.
- 1 pound navy or pea beans (or other small dried white beans)
- 1/2 pound salt pork
- 1 onion; cut 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cloves garlic; finely chopped
- 1 Cup tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/4 Cup dry mustard
- 1/3 Cup maple sugar
- 1/3 Cup molasses
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
- Sort through the beans and discard any off-colored or broken ones. Rinse and drain the beans and set aside.
- Remove the rind from half of the salt pork. Cut it in 1/2-inch squares. Cut the other half in 3/4 to 1-inch thick strips to equal 4 or 5 strips, with the rind attached. Set aside.
- Line the bottom of an earthenware crock or bean pot with the 1/2-inch squares of salt pork and onion. Place the beans on top.
- Bring 1 quart of water to boil in a saucepan. Add the garlic, tomato puree, salt, pepper, dry mustard, maple sugar, molasses, bay leaves and vinegar. Simmer 1 minute. Mix well and pour over the beans.
- Score strips of salt pork crosswise, about every inch, without cutting through them. This prevents the strips from curling while cooking. Place the strips on top of the beans and liquid.
- Heat the oven to 250 degrees.
- Cover the beans and bake 5 hours, checking occasionally (first at 2 hours, then every hour), to be sure the liquid is just barely covering the beans. Add more water as needed. After 5 hours, remove the cover and cook 1 hour more. Remove the strips of salt pork and stir the beans before serving.
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