Beans Beans the Musical Fruit

Baked Beans:

Classic Tomato and Smokey Maple

There’s a simplicity to homemade baked beans that make them very comforting. Whether it’s alongside a classic English breakfast, or as a main course with an unlimited supply of freshly baked bread, baked beans is a humble dish that is both soothing and nourishing.

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Tomato Baked Beans

To the average person, preparing beans is as simple as lifting the tin lid and dumping them into a pot to warm. Which is why I chose not to stray too far from the version of tomato baked beans that Heinz has been serving up for over a century. You could say this recipe is a clone of Heinz Beanz, and a pretty good one if I do say so myself. The biggest difference – freshness!

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Smokey Maple Baked Beans

The other style of baked beans does wander off slightly for anyone accustomed to tomato beans. This smokey maple baked bean recipe is sweet, though not cloyingly sweet. It’s balanced with salt, smoke, and vinegar to give it an intense punch of flavor. Growing up, baked beans in molasses was always my favorite. Eventually many companies started to play around with other flavors and maple became a hit among Canadians. I too, fell in love with maple beans, but I always found them to be a little too sweet and not enough maple flavor to really differentiate from molasses. This version of smokey maple baked beans does stand out from the can.

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A few important notes about the recipes: I used 250g of dry white beans, and then divided them in two, after soaking them overnight, to make two different types. If you prefer just one type, then you can use the recipe as is, or the entire 250g of beans and double the ingredients for either recipe.

I used maple extract to reinforce the maple flavor, however, this ingredient isn’t always available. You can substitute the brown sugar for extra maple syrup in equal quantities, but be sure to use a dark syrup, otherwise you’ll just be wasting your money.

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Tomato Baked Beans

Tomato Baked Beans

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 100g (6 tbsp) tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 cups chicken stock, plus another 3-4 cups for cooking
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 125g (4.5oz.) dry white beans, soaked for at least 8 hrs. Makes about 3 cups after soaking.
  • 4 slices of bacon, partially cooked

1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add oil and tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.

2. Add sugar, vinegar, mustard, onion powder, celery salt, and cloves. Continue stirring for a few more minutes. Then gradually add the 3 cups of chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.

3. Mix cornstarch with water and add to the tomato sauce to thicken.

4. In an oven proof dish, combine the beans and sauce and lay bacon over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 175°C/350°F for 4 hours. After each hour check the beans and add more stock if necessary. The beans should always be just covered with liquid.

5. Remove foil and bake for another hour uncovered. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

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Smokey Maple Baked Beans

Maple Baked Beans

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup Grade B dark maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups chicken stock, plus another 3-4 cups for cooking
  • 2 tsp maple extract, optional
  • 3 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 125g (4.5oz.) dry white beans, soaked for at least 8 hrs. Makes about 3 cups after soaking.
  • 4 slices of bacon

1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add oil and tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.

2. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, onion powder, sea salt, and liquid smoke, also maple extract if using. Continue stirring for a few more minutes. Then gradually add the 3 cups of chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.

3. Mix cornstarch with water and add to the tomato sauce to thicken.

4. In an oven proof dish, combine the beans and sauce and lay bacon over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 175°C/350°F for 4 hours. After each hour check the beans and add more stock if necessary. The beans should always be just covered with liquid.

5. Remove foil and bake for another hour uncovered. Let cool, partly covered for 20 minutes before serving.

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9 thoughts on “Beans Beans the Musical Fruit

  1. I gew up eating “baked bean sandwitches”. An open face sandwitch tosted under the broiler then heeped with beans and cheese and then browned upder the broiler again. (handed down from my grandfathers omish background) It is the hight of comfort for me! But I have never tried any homemade recipes. These look good!
    I am okay with the brown sugar beans, but I go for the tomato if given a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baked bean sandwiches sound great! Kinda a more advanced take on the classic beans and toast. Love the addition of cheese! My wife preferred the tomato beans, I preferred the maple beans, and my son just wanted to gobble them both up!😋👍

      Liked by 1 person

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