This is a sweet pie. Thus, this is a disturbing pie, since it is also a bean pie. Yet it is a multicultural pie. American cowboys, Black Muslims, and diners in Chinese McDonald's restaurants have all eaten the bean pie with gusto and with pleasure. Sweet, disturbing, multicultural; sounds good to me. So let's go.
I started off with a can of red kidney beans, a little less than half a kg, about one and a half cups. I drained off the liquid, and cooked them in my scratched-up old saucepan. They simmered. I should note that the precise type of bean is not all that important -- Black Muslims use navy beans in their bean pies, while cowboys used rehydrated dry pinto beans on the trail -- though haricots verts are right out. I picked a few out with a fork. They were tender and delicious. All the recipes I found suggest at least mashing the cooked tender beans with a fork, while some suggest using a blender or a food processor to create a smooth bean paste. Not having a food processor, I mashed the beans with a fork, and then for good measure mashed them further with a round glass tumbler inside of the saucepan, using the tumbler as a pestle. It was messy, but it produced a nice purplish starchy goop, with the skins of the beans popping through the mixture despite repeated applications of the tumbler. I stirred a cup of brown sugar into the hot bean paste, a cup of milk (which cooled it down), three egg yolks, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and some allspice. Other recipes suggest cinnamon and nutmeg, but I thought the allspice would better complement the bean flavor. I heated the mixture (below boiling) and stirred it for a few minutes, to let the starches in the beans thicken a bit further. I was a little dismayed to see the skins of the beans floating in the mass, since I knew they would be somewhat tough, and I was tempted to strain them out. In the end, I didn't. I poured the thickened mixture into a uncooked store-bought Pillsbury pie crust, and put it in the oven at 350 degrees F (about 175 C) for thirty minutes or so. I'm afraid I'm really not much of a clock-watcher when it comes to these things. The crust was a light brown, and the surface of the filling was dark brown and intriguingly ruddy. I set it on top of my refrigerator to cool, and about an hour or so later I had my first slice. That first bite was... interesting. As I had worried, the skins of the beans did give the filling a much chewier, more fibrous texture than most pies have. The next time I make this pie, I shall puree those beans. However, overall the pie's flavor was sweet and smoky, with overtones as complex as chocolate, and actually not unlike chocolate. And although I used three egg yolks, it didn't taste like a custard pie at all. More like some earthy, exotic New World plant that had been pulled straight from the ground and cooked sweet over the long day. Not bad. Not bad at all. And it goes well with strong black coffee.