2 Grown-Up Pie Iron Recipes to Cook on the Open Fire

Perfect for your next campout...or just dinner in the backyard. 

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

Before the campout: Thinly slice apples, mix with juice and zest of 1 lemon. Add apple mixture to 1 zip-top bag. In a second zip-top bag, add sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At the campout: Grease inside of pie iron with melted butter. Line each side with a slice of white bread. Add more softened butter to the inside of the bread. Empty the spice mixture into the apples and mix. Add 1/6 of the pie mixture to each pie iron. Place on coals for 3 minutes per side, or until brown.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

By: Liz Gray

Have fun outside and learn a new skill this summer with HGTV's camp-themed series! We'll be sharing grown-up takes on camp crafts, delicious campfire recipes and ways to make backyard camping more luxurious. Follow along using #summercampweek all week long!

This week is all about recreating our summer camp favorites, so it didn't take me long to choose my favorite thing about hanging out around the campfire: the food. More specifically: Pie iron food. 

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

Before the campout: Thinly slice apples, mix with juice and zest of 1 lemon. Add apple mixture to 1 zip-top bag. In a second zip-top bag, add sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At the campout: Grease inside of pie iron with melted butter. Line each side with a slice of white bread. Add more softened butter to the inside of the bread. Empty the spice mixture into the apples and mix. Add 1/6 of the pie mixture to each pie iron. Place on coals for 3 minutes per side, or until brown.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

If you've never heard of the magical campfire tool that is a pie iron, prepare to have your mind blown. Think of it as a cross between a cast-iron skillet and a panini press; use it over the coals to create everything from toasty sandwiches to yes, piping hot apple pies. 

My family toted our trusty pie iron on every car camping trip. Growing up, we used paper-thin white bread and brick cheese to make oozy campfire grilled sandwiches, and canned pie filling for dessert. But since this is grown-up summer camp, I gave these favorites a twist.

The Basics: Cooking Over the Coals

The most important part of cast-iron cookery? Season the pie iron (or pan) before leaving for your trip, especially if it's been stored in a damp place. Here's a super-easy method

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

Before the campout: Thinly slice apples, mix with juice and zest of 1 lemon. Add apple mixture to 1 zip-top bag. In a second zip-top bag, add sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At the campout: Grease inside of pie iron with melted butter. Line each side with a slice of white bread. Add more softened butter to the inside of the bread. Empty the spice mixture into the apples and mix. Add 1/6 of the pie mixture to each pie iron. Place on coals for 3 minutes per side, or until brown.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

While a few over-browned spots are part of the charm of campfire cookery, there are a few tricks to getting it right. First off, choose a part of the fire without high flames — you're looking for hot coals. Then, flip often to cool all sides evenly. 

Variation 1: Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

Before the campout: Thinly slice apples, mix with juice and zest of 1 lemon. Add apple mixture to 1 zip-top bag. In a second zip-top bag, add sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At the campout: Grease inside of pie iron with melted butter. Line each side with a slice of white bread. Add more softened butter to the inside of the bread. Empty the spice mixture into the apples and mix. Add 1/6 of the pie mixture to each pie iron. Place on coals for 3 minutes per side, or until brown.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

For the "fancy grilled cheese," I swapped bread for pizza dough to create a calzone-grilled cheese hybrid. Sharp cheddar cheese (which keeps reasonably well in a cooler for a few days) gets a sweet counterpoint from smoky tomato jam. Gooey, cheesy, delicious. 

Variation 2: From-Scratch Apple Pie 

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

HGTV Summer Camp: Pie Iron Recipe

Before the campout: Thinly slice apples, mix with juice and zest of 1 lemon. Add apple mixture to 1 zip-top bag. In a second zip-top bag, add sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg. At the campout: Grease inside of pie iron with melted butter. Line each side with a slice of white bread. Add more softened butter to the inside of the bread. Empty the spice mixture into the apples and mix. Add 1/6 of the pie mixture to each pie iron. Place on coals for 3 minutes per side, or until brown.

Photo by: Jason Kisner

Jason Kisner

Turns out it's super-easy to make your own camp-ready apple pie filling; all it takes is some pre-trip prep work. I pre-sliced the apples and coated them with lemon juice, then mixed up the spice mixture in a separate bag. Surprisingly, white bread holds up flavor-wise as the crust. I just swapped the super-thin bread for a thicker potato variety. The result: Buttery and delicious topped with (Mason jar!) whipped cream. 

Make This: Campfire Apple Pie

Once you've mastered these recipes, the options are endless: Think pie-iron pizza, breakfast quesadillas and more. Your campout is going to get pretty delicious! 

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