Camp Chef Makeover: The Sweets Lover

If you have a sweet tooth, you'll love this on-trail Cherry Cobbler.
sept 2010 cook like pro cherry cobbler 445x260

Diagnosis Dessert debacle “Cherry cobbler on the trail sounded great,” Emily says. “Dehydrating the cherry filling? A total disaster and waste of cherries. It turned to glue on the tray, refusing to come off or fully dehydrate.”

Makeover by Rick Greenspan & Hal Kahn, authors of The Leave-No-Crumbs Camping Cookbook ($15; Philosophy: “Good food’s possible anywhere if you improvise.”

Dessert Rx Rather than dehydrating the cobbler filling (which can be tricky), make it in camp using dried fruits.

The Recipe: Cherry Cobbler

Serves 3 to 4

4 cups cherries

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon brandy

9 ounces flour

1 tablespoon powdered buttermilk

1 tablespoon sugar (for biscuit)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

Powdered egg mix equal to one egg

2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee

At home

Dehydrate pitted cherries until leathery (or buy dried). Put biscuit ingredients—flour through salt—in a zip-top bag.

In camp

» Fruit mixture Bring fruit and one cup water to a boil in a covered pot. Lower to a simmer. Add three tablespoons sugar and brandy; cook five to 10 minutes until it’s as thick as jam. Stir often.

» Biscuit Mix dry ingredients with butter until it feels like cornmeal (add water to moisten). Dust hands and a plate with flour. Knead the dough until smooth, then press into a half-inch-thick disk. If using Backpacker’s Pantry Outback Oven, follow its instructions. If not, place dough in a pan, wrap the lid and seam with foil, and pile hot (not flaming) coals around and atop pan. If it’s windy, rotate it regularly. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the top is golden. Lift the biscuit in one piece onto fruit, and serve.