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 ½ cup orange marmalade.
Place the beans in a 2-½ 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 1-½ 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, ½ 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 ¼ cup coffee or ¼ 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.