How about a hot bowl of freshly baked apple crisp at the trailhead? The apples, cinnamon, and toasted pecans are super fragrant and warm any campsite meal. A bowl of apple crisp is pretty much the perfect end to any cool or cold weather adventure. This version is vegan, if you like to avoid dealing with dairy in the backcountry.
8 medium-sized apples
1 1/2 cups organic rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup Sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup apple sauce
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Pre-heat the charcoal briquettes. Place about 24 briquettes into a metal container or briquette chimney. Pour a few squirts of the charcoal starter fluid on the briquettes and light with a match. As the briquettes heat—they will turn from black to gray. This will take about 10 minutes or so, depending on wind and outside temperature. As the briquettes heat (a good fire with coals will also work), prepare the apple crumble.
Wash, peel, and slice the apples off the core. Set aside. Combine the oats, Sucanat (or brown sugar), almond flour, chopped pecans, ground flax seed, cinnamon, and salt. Add the applesauce and vanilla. Stir until mixture is sticky—the almond flour, oats, ground flax, and applesauce will form into a crumble.
Pour the sliced apples into a clean seasoned Dutch oven. Add the crumble and pat firm with a spoon. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid. Place 8 pre-heated briquettes under the Dutch oven, and 12 on the top lid. This ratio provides about 350 degrees. Check the apples periodically and move the coals around to keep a consistent heat. Add additional briquettes as needed. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. The apple crisp is done when the crumble has slightly browned and the apples have softened.
Serve with your favorite plant-based milk or whipped topping. To modify this crisp for a dessert, add an additional 1/4 cup or more of sweetener. Serves 4 to 6. To see a full video about the Dutch oven basics, including preparing this recipe, visit the Plant-Based Scratch Kitchen (PBSK).
Dutch Oven Supplies
• 1 seasoned cast-iron Dutch oven (10 inch is a good average size)
• Charcoal briquettes (minimum of 20-24)
• Long-handle tongs
• Charcoal starter fluid
• Lid lifter
Eric Aakko, MS MCHES, is a certified plant-based chef and backcountry enthusiast. For recipes and more,