A few weeks ago, some friends gathered upstate on a perfect fall day for a pig roast. While the men folk manned the rotisserie I go to work on dessert, and inspired by Kelsey's camp cobbler, I decided to give dutch oven cooking a try. I still had a mess of apples left from my apple picking adventure and I knew a crisp would be just the thing to feed our crowd so I packed up all of the dry ingredients for my favorite crisp topping in a ziploc bag then mushed (technical term) the butter in when I was ready to bake. For the fruit portion of the equation, I chopped up the apples and tossed them in a buttered dutch oven with a lonely quince, a handful of concord grapes, and a bit of sugar and spice. I put the dutch oven over indirect heat, put some coals on top, and hoped for the best.
Campfire Apple, Concord & Quince Crisp
Make sure to not let the dutch oven sit directly on the fire and check it every 10 minutes or so to see if it needs to be rotated away from the flame, a set of heavy duty fire gloves works great for this. If you don't have quince or concord grapes, just use an extra apple or two.
5 pounds baking apples, about 10 - peeled (or not) and chopped into medium pieces
1 medium quince - peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 cup concord grapes cut in half and seeded
juice and zest of one lemon
juice and zest of half of an orange
1/2-2/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces soft butter
3.5 ounces rolled oats
2.25 ounces all purpose flour
2.25 ounces whole wheat flour
5 ounces brown sugar
1/4t baking soda
Combine all of the filling ingredients in a dutch oven with a lid.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flours, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add in the butter and use your hands to work it into the mixture until it holds together in medium-sixed clumps. Sprinkle it evenly over the filling. Alternately, pack all of the dry ingredients in a ziploc bag, then when you are ready to bake, toss in the soft butter and mush it all around until it is evenly incorporated.
Place the dutch oven on a few rocks above the fire, then put about 5 (big) hot coals on the lid. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is browned, rotating every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooking.
And yes, that is the back end of a whole pig up there in that photo. Sorry if anyone is offended by that image.