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Mountain Cider Beans Recipe

These baked pinto beans are flavored with molasses and apple cider (or apple juice) and have a rich and hearty flavor. Be sure to start them early in the day. You’ll love the way your kitchen smells while these beans are baking.

Adapted from Appalachian Cider Beans in Cider Beans, Wild Greens, and Dandelion Jelly: Recipes from Southern Appalachia by Joan E. Aller

Prep: 1-1/2 hours (includes bean soak time) | Cook: 6 hours | Serves: 8-10

Cider Beans


  • 1 pound package dried pinto beans
  • 3 cups apple cider or apple juice
  • 8 ounces of bacon or salt pork, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Pick over beans and rinse very well. Place beans in saucepan. Cover beans with cold water. Bring water to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to stand for one hour.
  2. Drain and rinse beans. Return to saucepan and add apple cider. Over medium heat, bring the beans to boil. Boil gently for 30 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  4. Layer 1/2 the bacon on bottom of large 3-quart baking dish or dutch oven. Spoon 1/2 the beans over the bacon lining the bottom of the pan. Layer onions, then add the remaining beans.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the molasses, dried mustard, and salt. Stir constantly until mustard and salt dissolves. Pour over the beans, then top with remaining bacon. Pour reserved cooking liquid over beans, then add just enough hot water to cover the beans.
  6. Cover and cook for 4 hours. Check the beans after 4 hours and add more water if necessary. Recover and cook for 1-2 hours more until the beans are tender.

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