There are 2 main schools of sweetening when it comes to baked beans -- you prefer either maple syrup or molasses. The following recipe is of the first school, while the next recipe is of the second. Just to tighten up the game, a third school has emerged lately. It suggests using 1/2 cup orange marmalade.
1 pound dried navy pea beans
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 bacon strips, cut into 1-inch slices
Place the beans in a 2-1/2 quart casserole or bean pot. Cover with water and let soak overnight. Drain. Place the beans in a large saucepan, cover with fresh water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender and the skins have burst.
Drain the beans and reserve the water. To 1 cup of the reserved water, add the onion, maple syrup, salt, mustard, and ginger. Place the beans in a casserole or bean pot and stir in the maple mixture. Add the bacon. Add enough reserved water to cover the beans.
Bake for 6 hours at 325 degrees F. Stir occasionally during the cooking and add the reserved water, 1/2 cup at a time, if the beans appear to be sticking to the crock or are dry. Serve hot. Note: To vary the flavor, add 1/4 cup coffee or 1/4 cup bourbon to the beans. Also, the beans can be made in a slow cooker. Use the low setting, keep covered, and cook for 10 to 12 hours.