Sweet, smoky and comforting, these Apple Cider Baked Beans are the perfect dish to set up in your crock pot or slow cooker to simmer all day. The slow cooking provides ample time for these beans to become rich and delicious with flavours of sweet apple cider and smoky paprika and rich depth from molasses and mustard.
My favourite recipe for Baked Beans was originally from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook, Boston Baked Beans, and that recipe was the inspiration for this recipe. Simple, cheap and easy with only a few ingredients, it became a family favourite for years served up with Molasses Brown Bread reflecting our partial familial Eastern Canada influence. I’ve changed it up at times just to add variety to the flavours and this is our favourite variation. The apple cider adds such a beautiful flavour and really makes the dish special.
This dish could not be easier to throw together. Once the beans are soaked, simply add everything else and set up the slow cooker to work its magic. Baked beans are terrific comfort food for cooler days but also for hot days when you don’t want to turn the oven on. Baked Beans are the perfect family meal, potluck contribution or picnic addition. It is an easy make ahead dish and freezes well. We like to take them frozen for camping, where they are quick to heat up and taste so deliciously satisfying after a day spent exploring the great outdoors.
This month with The Recipe Redux, it is all about fast or slow cooking while keeping the kitchen cool. “Beat the Heat with the Slow Cooker/Instapot/Pressure Cooker”. I’m looking forward to checking out all the recipes! What appliances do you use to make your meals while keeping the kitchen cool?
Apple Cider Baked Beans
2 cups dried white beans or pinto beans
3 – 4 cups apple cider*
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup fancy molasses
2 tablespoons oil
Soak beans in 8 cups water overnight. Drain, rinse and put in slow cooker or crock pot. Add spices, apple cider, molasses and oil. Stir well to mix the molasses with apple cider. Put on low for 6-8 hours. Test if they are done by trying a bean, they should be tender and creamy inside. Add salt starting with a 1/4 teaspoon and adjust as needed.
*Alternatively, use part apple cider and part water to reduce the sugar in the dish.
Serve with bread or baked potatoes and salad to make a complete meal. This recipe is vegan.