This Pie Iron Apple Pie recipe is the perfect easy camping dessert! With the help of a pie iron, you can whip up a mouthwatering apple pie that will impress your friends and family. Whether you're camping, hiking, or simply enjoying a backyard barbecue, this recipe guarantees a delightful treat that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Indulge in the warm, gooey goodness of homemade apple pie cooked to perfection over the open fire. Let's dive into the details and learn how to make this irresistible pie iron apple pie recipe step by step.
What is a Pie Iron?
A Pie Iron is a piece of camp cooking equipment made of a pair of long metal sticks with a cast iron or aluminum ‘sandwich maker’ on the other side. They are perfect for savory sandwiches, like a toasty ham and cheese, or sweet treats like Pie Iron Apple Pie!
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:
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 and 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!
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:
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!
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Pie Iron Apple Pie
This crispy Pie Iron Apple Pie is perfect for socially-distanced holidays, camping trips, and campfire fun! The recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan, with lots of versatility to make it your own.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Campfire
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
- 2 diced apples
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons tapioca flour to thicken, add more as needed
- 4 larges slices of bread or equivalent -- you may need extra slices if your bread is smaller than the pie iron
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter
- Melt coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Then add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Cook for about 7 minutes until apples soften, stirring on occasion to prevent burning.
- Add maple syrup and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring consistently. Then turn off the heat, add tapioca starch and stir to combine. The texture should be sticky and gooey without too much extra liquid.
Using the Pie Iron:
- Place a pat of butter/coconut oil on each side of the pie iron. Then place one large slice of bread across each side.
- If bread is too small, patch the holes with additional pieces of bread. Bread should fill the entire iron with the crust sticking out the side.
- Add ⅓ to ½ cup of filling to one side. Then close the iron.
- Make sure to maintain the proper positioning of the latch so it doesn’t break. If you have latches and hooks farther up the handle, make sure to secure these too.
- Use a knife to trim the bread outside of the iron.
- The more you trim, the less likely your pie is to catch fire.
- Roast over the fire for 5 to 10 minutes.
- We like to keep the irons just over the flames and open the pie iron after about 5 to 7 minutes to check for desired crispiness. I roast mine until golden brown.
- 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.
Don't skimp on the butter! Otherwise your pie will taste more like an apple sandwich and it will stick to the pie iron.
Feel free to add other fun ingredients to the filling like honey, raisins, lemon zest — whatever suits you!
Add more maple syrup if the apples are tart. We picked an 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 the starch out of the pie filling. Starch makes it gooey and sticky and helps it hold form. This prevents the pie filling from squishing out the side!
Keywords: dessert, camping
Good call on the starch to thicken the filling! My boyfriend left it out and his squished out lol
This is great campfire food!!!
I was really surprised--they taste surprisingly close to the real thing! I love the spicing of the filling and I definitely recommend using butter generously for the best crust texture.
I love making these around the fire with friends! S'mores are great, but pie iron apple pie? MMMmmmm...so good!