What To Do With Beans After Using Them as Pie Weights

Dried beans are a great alternative to pie weights when blind-baking a pie crust. Can you cook and eat them after using them to blind bake a pie?

Dried beans are a great alternative to ceramic pie weights when blind-baking a pie crust, but can you push their utility one step further by cooking and eating them afterward? To find out, we baked three pie crusts, using the same batch of dried small red beans to weigh down each crust as it baked.

When we cooked the thrice-baked beans alongside a pot of never-baked beans and tasted the two side by side, we were surprised to find little difference. The pie-weight beans were a bit firmer than the never-cooked beans and might have benefited from 10 more minutes of cooking, but they were creamy, intact, and entirely acceptable. That's because beans lose some—but not much—of their 12 percent moisture when baked, since the bean is protected by skin and moisture can pass through only two tiny openings where the bean was once attached to the pod.

OUR TAKEAWAY: If you're housebound and hungry, go ahead and reach for the pie beans.

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