Navy Bean Pie

Navy Bean Pie

Navy Bean Pie

The silky, custardlike base of this autumnal pie is made from sweetened navy bean purée spiced with nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon.Andre Baranowski

The silky, custardlike base of this autumnal pie is made from sweetened navy bean purée spiced with nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pies made in this way have their roots in dietary guidelines set forth by religious leader Elijah Muhammad. In his 1967 treatise How to Eat to Live, he wrote that beans were a blessed food—but that sweet potatoes weren't fit for man to eat. His daughter developed a sweet potato pie–like recipe using navy beans that was so delicious, it became the most popular way to raise money for the Nation of Islam. Its members hawked them on street corners from the early 1970s onward. This recipe first appeared in our November 2014 issue with the story A Goodly Slice.