A recipe by Ulmer Lee “Birdie” Wood Loyd
3 cups cooked pinto beans (see Notes)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (see Notes)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla ( 1/4 teaspoon if you use double strength)
pinch of salt
Pre heat oven to 450 degrees F. Drain beans and mash beans with a fork (the taste is not the same if you use a blender). Lightly beat eggs and blend with the beans. Add milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt and blend. Pour mixture into the crust and bake at 450oF for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 300oF and bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (be careful to not over cook as it will be dry). This makes a nice full 9-inch deep crust pie. You can use the store bought crust but the best (according to Jim Windsor) is the heavier and thicker home made crust.
About the beans: The pie is best if the beans are cooked with little or no salt or other seasoning. One and one half cups of dry beans will produce about 3 cups of cooked beans.
About the milk: Evaporated milk can be substituted if desired; one cup undiluted (one can) makes a creamier pie filling.
Other variations are possible if wanted but to my taste the original is the only way. Substitution of 1/2 cup brown sugar for 1/4 cup white sugar will give it a light maple flavor. Addition of 1-tsp. cinnamon, 1/2-tsp. nutmeg, and 1/2-tsp. allspice gives it a nice spicy taste. As Jim says: “It’s still best Mama’s way.”
The History of Bean Pie in the Wood/Lloyd Family
by Jim and June Windsor
“The story that I was told is that not long after moving to the ranch in Western NM Birdie and family were invited to a pot luck supper-dance party and she was asked to bring a desert of some sort. Since they hadn’t been there long there wasn’t a large stash of supplies on hand and no car to run down to the corner market so she was faced with the challenge of coming up with something. She had a pot of beans on the stove and some eggs so she set to trying to make a ‘silk purse out of a sows ear.’ From that came her bean pie which became a favorite of the area. It was the requested offering for most future potlucks.
I have since learned that beans have been used to make pies all over. I don’t know of any other pie that uses pintos, however. There was a bakery in Berkley that made them out of the white navy beans and I have found, via the Internet, other recipes for bean pie. Mama’s still puts them all to shame.