A bit of sugar is about the only similarity in these two pies. Kidney beans, masking as sweet potatoes, and chocolate chips combined with pecans and, perhaps, a bit of bourbon, will offer you a delicious culinary exploration.
Lisa Stahley of Baltimore asked for the bean pie which, she wrote, "has a taste and texture similar to sweet potato pie and is an African-American specialty. I hope one of your readers can help me."
Her response, two different bean pies, was from Sarah Kyle of Fallston who collects cookbooks and notes that the two recipes came from "The Bean Book for Cooks."
Kyle's 'Can't believe it's not pumpkin' pie
1 can (15 1/2 -ounces) Hanover Redskin Kidney Beans, drained
1 can (12-ounces) evaporated milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves and nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
Combine all ingredients and mix at medium-high speed in a blender for 1 minute. Pour mixture into pie shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees. Center of pie may be slightly loose but will set as it cools. Chill. Serve with whipped topping if desired.
Kyle's kidney bean custard pie
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 can (15 1/2 -ounces) Hanover Redskin Kidney Beans, drained and mashed with a fork
4 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and cinnamon
1 (10-inch) unbaked pie shell
Cream sugar and butter together. Mix in kidney beans. Add egg yolks, milk and spices. Blend well. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the filling mixture. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake 40 additional minutes or until custard is set.*
A brief note from Christina Bethea of Fayetteville, N.C., said, "looking for the following recipe, a Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie." Her request was answered by Ira A. Minor of Laurel.
Minor's chocolate chip pecan pie
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecan halves
1 (9-inch) unbaked pastry shell
In a medium bowl, with a fork, beat the eggs slightly. Stir in corn syrup, sugar and vanilla just until blended.
Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour into pastry shell. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted half way between the outside and the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Some readers, such as Lynn Wintriss of Baltimore and Linda Peters of Columbia sent in similar recipes which called for a splash of bourbon.
Wintriss' tipsy chocolate pecan pie
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons rum or bourbon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups pecans
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and mix well. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on pie shell and pour in filling. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set.*
Chef Gilles Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, selected and tested these recipes.
* B. Hannan of Baltimore wants two recipes. "Does anyone have a recipe similar to the salad dressing used at Nichi Bei Kai? I know it contains sesame seed oil but other than that I haven't a clue. I'm also looking for a recipe similar to the Japanese onion soup which they serve. I like its lighter taste much better than French onion soup," she writes.
* Susan Gonzales of Crofton is interested in a recipe called classic white chili which, she writes, was made with cannellini beans and chicken breast chunks instead of red beans and beef.
* Joan Bourquin of Severna Park has lost her recipe for Copper Mountain Quiche which she writes "appeared in the Sun Magazine years ago."
* Barbara Reiner of Baltimore remembers a cranberry relish made with "diced apple and pear, orange juice and maybe sugar."*
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Please print each response or request clearly on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Send to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.