As I mentioned in my previous post, I went camping this weekend. My family and I had a great time white water rafting with my neighbors. We had about six families which included 17 kids!! There were no showers at our campsite, but we had the river!
Kern River runs about 165 miles and is fed by the snowmelt near Mount Whitney. So the cold water felt oh, so good, in those 100ºF plus temperatures we were having. We got some river rafting fun in as well as just good old fashioned jumping in the river fun!
We divided meal duties amongst the families and I was for dinner the first night. I made campfire chili with a cornbread crust in a dutch oven. It went over very well with the hungry campers and no one left hungry!
How make baked apples in the campfire
While the kids had s’mores for dessert, I made something more sophisticated for the grown-ups: campfire baked apples. So easy, and really delicious!
While the chili was cooking, my friends and I cored out enough apples for all of us. I think we made about 16 total for 10 adults & 15 kids. I figured most of the kids preferred the marshmallow goodness over my healthy baked apples!
After coring the apples, we placed each on their own square of aluminum foil. Now if you are not a fan of cooking your food in foil, you can cut a smaller sheet of parchment paper and place that under the apples. Parchment paper will burn in the fire, but the foil will protect the paper while it is wrapped around your apples.
I had made the dried fruit mixture at home and brought it in a resealable bag. This save me the step of bringing all the ingredients with me to the campsite and and mix it up over there. I used what I had in the pantry: dried cranberries, raisins, and walnuts seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg.
At the campsite, I added the little bit of butter needed and we stuffed the apples with the yummy goodies. After topping each apple with another dab of butter, we wrapped the apples up and put them in the fire ring. Yes, it really is THAT easy!
Now, our coals were pretty piping hot, so we didn’t put them directly on the coals, but next to them. After 20 minutes or so, we figured they were still cooking too fast (we hadn’t eaten dinner yet!), so we put them on top of the grate attached to our fire ring.
We knew they were done when we squeezed the apples with some long handled tongs and they were soft, but not mushy. We took them off the heat and put them in a cardboard box until we were ready to devour them.
And, boy, were they devoured!! The older kids, who were sick of s’mores, enjoyed them, too. It was like a personal apple pie, only healthier and tastier. The apples still had some tartness to them, but were perfect with the sweet filling inside.
How to make Dutch oven baked apples
This is such a versatile recipe, giving you lots of flexibility from the ingredients side to the cooking method. You can total low tech and wrap them in foil and bake the apples directly in the fire pit, as I explained earlier. But, you can also bake them in a Dutch oven, too.
My 10-inch Dutch oven fits 8 large apples beautifully. This method does not require foil, simply place the cored apples in the Dutch oven and then stuff them from there. Top each apple with butter and you are done and ready to bake the apples.
I bake them for 20 minutes at 350ºF, that’s 8 hot coals underneath the Dutch oven and 14 coals on top. This yielded a soft yet still firm baked apple. If you like your apple cooked longer, than by all means, leave them in the hot Dutch oven for 10-15 minutes more.
How to make baked apples at home
If you think of a Dutch oven as a mini kitchen oven, then it is easy to see that you can make these beautiful baked apples at home, too. And you don’t need a cast iron Dutch oven, either! Simply place the cored apples in an oven safe baking dish, stuff them and top them with butter. Bake in the oven anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes in a 350ºF oven. Again, depending on how firm you like your baked apples the baking time will vary.
My camping cookbook!
And if you are looking for more fabulous recipes to enjoy while you are camping or simply cooking in your backyard, then I’ve got a treat for you! This recipe is also featured in my new cookbook, The Camp & Cabin Cookbook (Countryman Press 2018). I have 100 recipes that are all prepared outdoors and over fire using multiple techniques from foil cooking to ash cooking to Dutch oven cooking and grilling and so much more!
- 4 large apples, such as Gala or Granny Smith
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 TBS raisins
- 2 TBS chopped walnuts
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 TBS unsalted butter
- Using a knife of an apple corer carefully core the apples.
- Brush the inside of the apples with lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Place each apple on their own a 10-inch square sheet of aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl, mix together dried fruits, nuts and spices.
- Press dried fruit mixture into the center of each cored apple.
- Cut butter into four pieces and place each small square on top of each apple, over the center filled with the dried fruit mixture.
- Wrap each apple tightly with the aluminum foil.
- Place aluminum foil wrapped apples in or next to hot coals, not onto open flame, and cook for 20-45 minutes, depending on how firm you like your baked apples.
- Keep checking your apples. If coals are too hot, remove from coals and place on a grate over the coals. Apples are done when they feel tender when squeezed. Serve warm.
To bake in the Dutch oven outdoors, double the recipe to make 8 baked apples for a 10-inch Dutch oven. Bake for 20-45 minutes with 8 hot coals underneath and 14 hot coals on top of the Dutch oven.
To bake at home, baked stuffed apples in an oven safe baking dish at 350ºF for 20-45 minutes, depending on how firm you like your baked apples.
You can also use any variety of dried fruits and nuts that you like. If using larger dried fruits, like apricots, cut into smaller pieces before stuffing into the apples.
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Serving Size:1 apple
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 8mg Sodium: 5mg Carbohydrates: 53g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 41g Protein: 2g