The Sauce: Pinto Bean Pie Filling – Creamy pie filling similar to pecan pie but made with pureed pinto beans, eggs, sugar and coconut.
‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’
Trek to Siam
Pioneer pies may not contain rich chocolates, nuts or other gourmet ingredients but every square inch of its diameter is loaded with old-fashioned ingenuity. For many old west folks beans are a supper staple but they spill into dessert when baked in a pie crust with eggs, sugar and butter. Beans have better than average shelf life and when dry, store in half the space. Pintos add hard working substance without the grit of limas and kidneys.
Audrey Bastian, my daughter, is writing a book about the first Mormon missionary, Elam Luddington, to Siam (modern day Thailand). I picked up the trail as they pass through southern Utah on their way to a ship on the California coastline. The faithful women of the Wasatch Mountain Corridor mashed, mixed, baked and packed pioneer pies for the missionary’s arduous journey west. Wouldn’t you love to taste an adapted version of a pioneer pie?
Pinto Bean Pie filling starts out liquidy and sets into a simple custard pie the color of weather worn barn when baked. Tastes simple as life was in the unencumbered western frontier.
Recipe: Pinto Bean Pie
Active Time: 10 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes | Yield: 1 9-inch Pie
1/2 cup canned pinto beans, drained
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 single crust pie pastry
Special Equipment – food processor, 9-inch pie plate
2 Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie pastry and crimp the edges.
3 Place the pinto beans, butter, eggs, vanilla and coconut in a food processor and process just until smooth.
4 Pour the pie filling into the pie crust. Bake on the bottom shelf at 350 degrees until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool on a rack.
Without a food processor you can mash the beans with a potato masher, whip the eggs then combine with the rest of the ingredients.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This pie could also be made in small individual pot pie dishes.
Similar to the flavor of pecan pie filling. Add a cup or two of pecan halves before baking. I love to turn the rounded side up on the top layer of the pecans for a beautiful presentation.
Enjoy on National Pi Day, March 14th.
- Exchange pinto for cannellini beans.
Inspiration – Sunglow Cafe in Bicknell, Utah
Cook with Sauces
Pinto Bean Pie
Written by Helen Horton
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: March 11, 2014