|(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)|
Maple baked beans
Serves 6 Sweet, tangy baked beans studded with bacon are a summer staple (in spite of the long oven time and how they heat the kitchen). Here, the beans are seasoned with maple syrup instead of molasses, which makes a lighter version. Dried beans have the best taste. Soak them overnight or use the quick-soak method: Place beans and water to cover in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and set aside for 1 hour. Serve the baked beans from the pot.
|2||cups dried Great Northern or navy beans, soaked overnight or quick-soaked|
|4||thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces|
|1||cup crushed canned tomatoes plus 1/2 cup juice from the can|
|1/2||cup maple syrup|
|1||tablespoon yellow mustard|
|2||tablespoons apple cider vinegar|
|1/8||teaspoon ground cloves|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|1||tablespoon dark brown sugar|
1. In a soup pot, combine beans with water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain.
2. Set the oven at 300 degrees. In large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, render the bacon until soft, but not crisp. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat. Add the beans, tomatoes and juice, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, water, cloves, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir gently until combined. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Cover with the lid.
4. Bake the beans for 3 hours, checking the pot every hour. Add water if the mixture seems dry. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.