Camp Style Apple Pie
Apple pie is one of the great pleasures of summer. What better way to combine two of summer's bests than by making apple pie while camping? There are a few different ways to prepare apple pie while camping, and for good measure this article includes instructions for making amazing apple pie at home too.
Pie Dough (double crust):
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter
1/2 cup water
Blend the four and butter with a food processor, pastry blender or even by hand, until it has the texture of course meal. Add the water slowly, while using the food processor or mixing with a spoon. You may not need the whole quantity of water - add part of the water at a time, blending until the flour and butter begins to adhere, but does not form a single mass without being pressed together. Be careful not to over blend or your pie dough will be tough instead of flaky.
Apple Pie Filling:
4-6 medium apples, thinly sliced and peeled (optional)
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
You can either mix the filling ingredients in a large bowl or layer the apples and the cinnamon and sugar inside the pie. If you are camping and want to make fresh pie filling at the camp site, you can mix the cinnamon and sugar beforehand and bring the ingredients premixed.
If you want to make apple pie when camping, you need to come a little prepared. You have a variety of filling and dough options. You can always make your own pie dough; however, you will have to bring a few items and be prepared, which could be something of a hassle. Pre-made pie dough is a good camping option if you want to keep things simple.
If you want to pre-make your own pie dough, consider rolling it out in advance. Store and transport the dough by placing the rolled out dough on a piece of plastic wrap and rolling the pie dough and plastic wrap up together. This will ensure that the pie dough doesn't dry out and that you will be able to unroll the pie dough when you are ready to make your pie.
Should you decide not to roll or make your dough in advance, you will have to make sure to pack a linen or similar cloth to roll out the dough. You will also need a flat surface, so you may need to bring something that will serve that purpose. You will also need a large round tube to serve as a rolling pin if you don't wan to bring a real rolling pin. An empty wine bottle or similarly shaped bottle works well as a substitute rolling pin.
You have a variety of filling options. At home I suggest mixing all of the filling ingredients together in a large bowl before adding them to the pie. However, when camping you probably won't want to pack a large bowl, so you can layer the apples and cinnamon and sugar mixture, so the ingredients will blend while baking. You can also purchase canned apple pie filling if you don't want to bother with all of the filling prep.
Using an pie iron is a great way to make all sorts of fun camping food. You can make your apple pie using two pieces of sandwich bread, or two square pieces of pie dough. When using the pie iron I recommend using canned pie filling. When using the pie iron and homemade pie filling you risk overcooking the bread or dough while trying to completely cook the filling. The apples will take longer to cook than the pie dough, but you won't have this problem if you use canned filling.
To make your pie, cut out at least two square pieces of pie dough, which will fit into the pie iron. Butter one side of each square. Place one square of the dough, buttered side down, into the bottom of the pie iron. Spoon some filling into the center of the dough, and place the second square, buttered side up, over the filling. Crimp the two pieces of dough together around the edges and close the pie iron. Put the pie iron into the fire and cook for 10-15 minutes. Open the pie iron a few minutes into cooking to check that the crust is not cooking to fast. Your pie will be done when the crust is golden brown.
Start by greasing the bottom and sides of your dutch oven so the pie won't stick. Place the bottom crust into the bottom of the dutch oven. Next layer the thinly sliced apples and the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Lightly butter the top of the top crust before gently placing the crust on the top of the filling. Crimp the two layers of crust together around the edges and slice large holes into the top crust. You can cut slits in the pie making a leaf like decoration; the slits act as vents and let out steam as the pie bakes. Finish by placing the lid on the dutch over and placing in the fire. Cover the lid with red-hot coals and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Place the bottom layer of pie dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill the pie plate with your apple pie filling. If you are using fresh apples, you can mound the apples up, making a mountain over the pie plate. Place the second, or top layer of pie dough over the top of the filling. Crimp the two layers of dough together around the edges and cut vent slits into the top of the pie.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake your pie for 30-45 minutes. Baking time will depend on how much filling you use and what type of apples you use. Some apples cook much faster than others, so check on your pie occasionally as it cooks. Your pie will be done when the apples are cooked down and the crust is golden brown.