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Campfire Apple Crisp

Photo: Thomas J. Story 

Hands on time 45 mins
Total time 1 hr, 45 mins

Serves 6

Cooking this homey dessert in your campfire is as simple as moving the low-burning logs out into a frame to create a bed of embers in the center. Whipped crème fraîche gives it a touch of sophistication.


  • 3 sweet-tart apples such as Cripps Pink, halved lengthwise and cored
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup softened salted butter
  • 1/4 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 289
  • caloriesfromfat 55 %
  • protein 2.2 g
  • fat 18 g
  • satfat 11 g
  • carbohydrate 32 g
  • fiber 2.7 g
  • sodium 63 mg
  • cholesterol 50 mg

How to Make It

  1. Build a wood fire in a fire ring (see "Learn to Cook Over Live Fire," below) and let it burn down to low flames and embers (1 to 1 1/2 hours).

  2. Cut foil into twelve 1-ft. squares. Divide into 6 stacks of 2 sheets each and set an apple half on each, cored side up. In a bowl, mix flour, butter, oats, brown sugar, and cardamom with your fingers until evenly moistened with no chunks of butter. Mound an equal amount of topping in each apple cavity.

  3. For each packet, neatly fold one stacked set of corners over an apple half, followed by the opposite set of corners; roll remaining corners snug to fruit to seal.

  4. Using long grilling tongs, move logs from center of fire into a frame to create a flat bed of embers in the center big enough for packets. Remove any flaming wood chunks from ember bed. Set packets, topping side up, on embers. Cook 15 minutes, turning packets over every 5 minutes with grilling tongs and moving positions in ember bed for even cooking. Transfer a packet to a plate and carefully open to check for scorching; if you see any, adjust fire or positions of packets. Cook packets topping side down without turning until topping is lightly browned, 10 to 15 more minutes.

  5. Open packets and let cool a few minutes. In a bowl, whisk whipping cream, crème fraîche, and granulated sugar until thick. Serve with apples.

Cook's Notes

Learn to Cook over Live Fire When you're cooking anything more advanced than s'mores, you need a campfire that will work with you. Our favorite design is a log cabin-style arrangement surrounding a tipi of kindling. In a fire ring, stack four large logs in a box shape (use six if you're planning a long cooking time). Add tinder inside the box and arrange kindling in a tipi over it. Light tinder with matches or a lighter in a couple of spots; when it starts smoking, blow gently until flames emerge. It takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours for a campfire to burn down to low flames and embers, the ideal stage for cooking. At that point, spread the fire evenly under the cooking grate, using grilling tongs. Move logs or add more of them as needed.

Camp Sunset, a Modern Camper's Guide to the Great Outdoors (Oxmoor House; May 2016)