I keep a mental list of foods I want to create at some point in my life. This is not an organized list, mind you, and it’s rather unrealistic and full of food-snobbery. It mostly contains intricate recipes with far-out ingredients, recipes that would take way too much time and money to ever really attempt.
Bean pie is a dish that you’d never think to make until you see a recipe and think, like duh, bean pie sounds so obviously good.
I mean, I like beans. But I like pie way more. Therefore beans would benefit from some pie.
Or at least that was the thinking that prompted me to make bean pie last night. I know, it sounds quite ridiculous. But it’s that ha, ha, bean pie is a ridiculous thing to make, but now that I think of it, I’m drooling and won’t live one more day without bean pie kind of ridiculous. And it’s also very pretty, with golden nuggets of corn and rubies of red peppers strewn throughout earthy beans and bright-white queso cheese. Perfect for that warm, sunny feeling dancing about the food-blog world recently. I’m sure you’ve noticed the citrus cakes, key lime cheesecakes, lemon bars, and of course the barrage of decadent, mouth-watering, heroic Daring Baker’s Lemon Meringue Pies!
After being pent-up on the couch for two weeks (I’m beginning to feel much better now-yay!) I needed a little sunshine in my dinner. Bean pie made it’s way colorfully to my table and Jim and I had lots of fun exclaiming “Bean Pie!” in between forkfuls because, come on, “Bean Pie!” is fun to say! I made the crust since with this recipe it’s a must. Not only does it lend a wonderful orange (red-pepper-tortilla-looking) color but it’s flavored with smoky paprika, cumin, and chili powder.
If you can get your hands on queso cheese for this recipe, use it. The salty, crumbly creaminess works wonders to the strong flavors of the peppers and beans. Queso Fresco (“Fresh Cheese”) is a Mexican soft unaged cheese, similar to feta but with a distinctly mild taste fitting for spicy Mexican foods. It’s crumbly and doesn’t melt well, which was what I wanted in the pie, but if you’d rather have the cheese melt throughout, try a good Queso Blanco or Monterey Jack.I found the recipe on epicurious, where they call it a black bean tart. Tart though it may be, I’ll always call this baby a “Bean Pie!”
serves 4-6//adapted from Gourmet, Jan 1996
Depending on your personal spiciness-o-meter you can adjust the amount of chili pepper in the dough and jalepeno in the filling. I used very fresh jalapenos which aren’t usually as hot as the ones that are a bit wrinkly.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- raw rice for weighting shell
- 1 (28 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ package frozen corn, or 5 oz.
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
- 8 oz. queso fresca cheese, or 6 oz. Monterey Jack
- 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)
- 2 scallions, chopped
To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°. In the food processor or with a pastry blender, mix together flour, spices, and salt. Add butter and combine until mixture resembled coarse meal. Add ice water and mix until a dough forms. Spread dough evenly in a 10-inch tart pan and chill for 10-15 minutes. After that, line dough with tin foil and weight that down with rice. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, discard tin foil and rice (or save the rice for the next time you blind bake a crust.) Bake naked crust in oven for another 10 minutes, or until it’s golden-orange.
Meanwhile: Puree one third of the black beans with 2 tablespoons sour cream until smooth. Set aside. Combine red pepper, cilantro, jalapeño, scallions, and cheese in a bowl. Set aside. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add red onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add reserved two thirds of the black beans and cook until tender. Add corn and cook to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add bean mixture to pepper bowl and mix up.
To finish: Spread pureed bean mixture evenly over the bottom of the tart crust. Pour vegetable mixture over puree and mound on top, pressing gently into the tart. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it looks hot and ready. Let it cool for 10 minutes and then serve with sour cream.