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Recipe: Dutch Oven Apple Crisp

Words by Jill Searle Photographs by James Fitzgerald III Styling by Joy Sunyoung Fitzgerald

Roll on, autumn. For many, it’s time to wear a flannel shirt, jump in the leaves and then find a Dutch oven and make this delicious apple crisp.

A Dutch oven is defined as a cast-iron kettle with a tight cover used for baking in an open fire; a metal shield for roasting before an open fire; a brick oven in which cooking is done by the preheated walls; and a heavy pot with a tight-fitting domed cover. Before you get started on the Apple Crisp, read our tips on using the Dutch oven in the best possible way!

First of all, the secret to successful Dutch oven cooking is using the proper amount of heat both above and below it. Ideally you’ll want to take the coals out of the main fire and place them to the side (about two feet from the fire) and then place hot coals on top of the lid. This distributes the heat evenly and will help you avoid burning your food on the bottom. Depending on the length of time you need to cook your dish, you can try moving your Dutch oven to a fresh, hot layer of coals every 20 to 30 minutes.

Second tip: To clean your Dutch oven, simply place it upside down over the campfire. Lastly, avoid wrapping your leftover apple crisp in tinfoil and leaving it out in the open. Why, you ask? Because the crows love love love the shiny tinfoil and they will come swooping in and tear it apart, eating all of your leftovers and making a huge mess. These things I have learned from experience.

Recipe: Dutch Oven Apple Crisp

For the Apple Mixture
10 medium to large apples
Pat of unsalted butter for greasing baking dish
2 tablespoons/30 milliliters fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup (4.6 ounces/130 grams) sugar (we like coconut or demerara sugar)
1/3 cup (1.6 ounces/45 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Topping
2 cups (10 ounces/285 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces/340 grams) packed brown sugar
1 cup (3 ounces/85 grams) instant oatmeal
1/2 cup (2 ounces/55 grams) walnuts, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces/225 grams) unsalted butter (or coconut oil), melted

For an ideal apple crisp, choose a combination of apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Golden Delicious. Peel, core and slice the apples and put them in a buttered 12-inch/30-centimeter Dutch oven. Add the lemon juice and stir to coat the apples.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Mix well. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples and stir until the apples are evenly coated. Spread the apples evenly.

To make the topping, mix the flour, brown sugar, oatmeal and walnuts in a medium bowl until well combined. Use a fork to mix in the melted butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Distribute the crumbly topping evenly over the apples.

Cover the Dutch oven and bake using 10–12 briquettes bottom heat and 16–18 briquettes top heat for 60 minutes or until the top is crispy and the apples are tender. Alternatively, bake the crisp in a preheated 350°F/175°C oven.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves 16


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