Sunday, August 12, 2007

ARF / 5-A-Day: A Maple Pie for the Masses

I cannot believe we are already well into August! It seems like just yesterday that my birthday (in April) was arriving, then Andrew's and my amazing trip downtown on our anniversary! But in fact, as of today it's been a whole 5 months since my little sister's birthday (a week later)! Although I shudder to think of it because of the impending chill, Fall will soon be here. However, that brings on baking season once again!! For me it's pretty much Fall year-round, but now I have excuses to go out and pick Northern Spy apples with my mom at Nature's Bounty Orchard, bake apple pies, crisps and squares (all by her recipes), and help make Thanksgiving turkey. Stay tuned for all of that fun stuff coming up as Fall begins!

This September will mark an important occasion in our family's life: my mom's wedding. I am sure she will be absolutely gorgeous (as all brides are on their wedding day) and to be able to see her happy again after two years of worry about my health and our blending households will touch me more than any other occasion in our house. The reception will be at a local Italian restaurant and their honeymoon is a grand tour of The Boot (her fiance is ridiculously Italian, can you tell?).

Back here in Canada, though, you can be sure I'll be baking away as usual, trying to force my tiny struggling bakery to survive. I'm going to test out this pie recipe on my future husband, and see if it can fly out in the world. It's a wonderful treat for both your heart and your tastebuds. A rich and flavourful sweet pie filling made creamy with the addition of navy bean puree. Your victims... er... I mean friends and family... will never know, since the texture and taste is simply rich and smooth, and the beans themselves have no real flavour. Also, if you use the vegan pie crust (included) the whole dessert is vegan, as well as gluten-free and whole-grain! This was originally from the Ontario White Bean Producers, but modified to varying degrees by me.

Creamy Maple Pie
Serves 10

1 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. all-vegetable shortening
3 tbsp. water
1 cup well cooked (almost to mush) navy beans
1/2 cup B grade (extra dark) maple syrup
2 tsp maple extract
2 egg replacer "eggs", prepared
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted Earth Balance (or other vegan) margarine
1/2 cup raisins

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Stir flour and salt together.
  3. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse mealy crumbs.
  4. Add water and gently combine to form a dough. Add more water by tablespoons if necessary. Do not overwork!
  5. Roll out and press into a 9" pie tin.
  6. Puree beans in food processor or blender with maple syrup and maple extract until smooth.
  7. Add egg replacers, sugar and margarine and mix until well blended.
  8. Sprinkle raisins in bottom of pie crust. Pour filling on top and smooth.
  9. Bake pie for 35 to 40 minutes.

So, what qualifies this for ARF / 5-A-Day at Sweetnicks?? Well, for starters:

  • Navy beans are a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, trace minerals that are essential cofactors of a key oxidative enzyme called superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells).
  • One ounce of maple syrup supplies 22.0% of the daily value for manganese.
  • Maple syrup is a good sweetener to use if you are trying to protect the health of your heart. The zinc supplied by maple syrup, in addition to acting as an antioxidant, has other functions that can decrease the progression of atherosclerosis. Zinc is needed for the proper function of endothelial cells and helps to prevent the endothelial damage caused by oxidized LDL cholesterol and other oxidized fats.
  • Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Studies at Cornell University have shown that populations eating diets high in fiber-rich whole grains consistently have lower risk for colon cancer.
Yum! So sit back, relax, and prepare to welcome Fall in a healthy way!
All trivia courtesy of the World's Healthiest Foods.


  1. I really want to try your recipe for this tart. Buckwheat and maple syrup are a lovely combination and I am curious about the texture provided by the pureed beans. Thanks!!

  2. I've had white bean pie at a soul food restaurant here in NC, and it was very good. I can't find recipes for such a thing, though. This sounds like the same basic thing, but with raisins and maple added. Definitely want to try it!

  3. I love pie but I can definitely say taht I've never tried this one. Can't wait to taste it.

    Thanks for the recipe


Thanks for the feedback!