A toasty campfire Pie Iron Apple Pie is the BEST way to enjoy a socially-distanced holiday! Pie Irons are pairs of long metal sticks with a cast iron ‘sandwich maker’ on the other side.
If you haven’t tried them yet, they are a foodie camper must-have. This post will give you the intro you need plus a tasty + easy Apple Pie recipe!
Were you a fan of those crispy McDonald's Apple Pies? Getting that toasty holiday flavor instantly is something I crave. This recipe is very similar, and waaay more fun since you get to cook over a campfire!
If you are new to pie irons, I recommend getting a single cast iron version. They usually cost around $15-20. Double-sized pie irons are popular too, but also very heavy. I also recommend buying a spare since the latches break.
Here's the Pie Iron I currently use:
Why you’ll fall in love with this campfire Pie Iron Apple Pie:
- It's the easiest way to make an apple pie!
- It tastes a lot like the real thing -- even without the 'traditional' pie crust.
- You can roast them over the fire like fancy adult s'mores
- The crust stays crispy until the next day (we always save one for breakfast)
- It's very easy to fit special dietary restrictions! This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
What to know before you start:
It's all about the BUTTER!
For a traditional pie crust, you attempt to fold as much crisco or butter into the flour as possible, without it falling apart. For the easiest version of this recipe, you'll be using bread slices. Therefore, you need to add lots of extra coconut butter for a crust that tastes crispy and buttery, like the real thing!
Seriously, do not skimp on the butter. At worst, it will melt and run through the iron. At best, your pie crust will taste like it's homemade!
Dress up the filling!
This apple pie filling is super simplified with only 6 ingredients -- it's a classic we love! Feel free to add other fun ingredients to the filling like honey, raisins, lemon zest or whatever suits you!
Add more maple syrup if the apples are tart.
We picked a sweet apple variety that didn't need much sweetening. It's always a good idea to taste your filling before it's finished.
Don't leave out the starch.
Adding starch to the pie filling makes it gooey and sticky and helps it hold form. This prevents the pie filling from rolling or squishing out the side!
It's ok if your bread slices are "too small".
This is particularly important for my gluten-free friends, since GF bread is often small or hole-y or weird-shaped. We found that stuffing the holes with extra bread or adding an extra half to the bottom of the iron caused no problems at all -- just make sure you have enough butter to help it 'crisp together'!
You can see the 'bread line' in my pie where a second piece starts:
Pie Iron Apple Pie Recipe:Print
Step-by-Step: How to use a Pie Iron
1. Prep your filling!
For this Pie Iron Apple Pie, you'll want to fry the apples beforehand (you could even do this the day before).
2. Open up your pie iron and put a pat of butter on each side.
Pro Tip: Warm the pie iron in the fire first! It's not necessary, however it makes for a crispier crust in the end. Warm just enough to heat through but don't start filling until it's cool enough to touch. They can get very hot.
3. Put a slice of bread on each side.
Fill in holes and add extra pieces if needed to cover the entire pie plate and extend outside the iron.
4. Layer your fillings. Then close the iron.
Make sure the latch is properly positioned so it doesn't break! They can usually handle a good amount of force. If you have latches and hooks farther up the handle, make sure to secure these too.
5. Trim the bread outside of the iron.
The more you trim the less likely your pie is to catch fire.
6. Roast over the fire until desired crispiness.
We usually roast 5-7 minutes and then check the pie. I roast mine slowly above the flame -- it usually take 10+ minutes. Lucas likes to put his straight in the fire and finishes in less than 10 minutes.
7. Remove the pie and enjoy warm!
Usually one side will loosen more easily (this becomes the top) and we use a metal spork to loosen the edges of the bottom.
Hungry for more?
Try these favorites from my camp stove:
Check out this reader favorite:
Or explore our tasty gluten-free Recipe Index. The Travel & To-go recipes are all made in my camper van!
With love and gratitude,