Even as an adventurous, fire-cooking fanatic, I always find myself gravitating back to the faithful, foolproof Dutch oven crisp. It’s a simple recipe that can be tailored to the season, and never fails to please. When I’m not outside, I bake it in my oven (instructions included below), making enough to have leftovers for breakfast.
There’s another reason I’m especially excited about this crisp.
This recipe is the first in a series with Barebones Living, who I first discovered when we were searching for battery-powered lighting at Firelight Camps, where we’re largely off the grid. Their forest lanterns were pleasing to the eye and set a serene ambiance while being bright enough to read a book and charge your phone at the same time. A rare combination.
Soon after we opened Firelight Camps, Barebones released a line of cast iron cookware. We had already been testing their gear at camp (flashlights, beacon lights, and more), so it was a natural fit for me to try cooking something in their Dutch oven over the open flames. I discovered the same marriage of beauty and function in this vessel, something I look for in all my cookware, and especially cast iron.
Most of my cast iron cookware was passed down from someone else: my mother, a friend, an anonymous grandmother whose heirlooms landed in a thrift store. When my Barebones Dutch oven arrived, my daughter Ayla was the first to open the package with me. It struck me that if I cared for this piece and showed her how to use it, as my mother had with my first cast iron skillet, it would be a gift I could pass on to her one day. I was excited to start this legacy, and with it a collection of recipes she could rely on.
This dessert is one that your family and friends will fall in love with, over and over again. As the leaves turn and the first flecks of snow fall, I’ll continue to share recipes using Barebones cast iron, including their crock pot and skillet. But we’re not quite there yet. We still have peaches.
To make this Peach Campfire Crisp with Rose Petals, you’ll want a Dutch oven with a “flanged” lid, which is flat with a lip around the edge to hold the coals. If peaches have passed and you’re on to apples (or still fielding berries somewhere south), simply swap the same quantity of peaches for local fruit. Look for organic “seconds” at your farmers market, with charming freckles or blemishes that won’t matter once they’re cooked. And while I love how the almonds in this recipe echo the almond-shaped peach pits, you can use any nuts on hand.
Peach Campfire Crisp with Rose Petals
This recipe is easy to prepare at home and assemble at outside, but you do have to plan ahead so your coals are burning medium-low. The best way to gauge the temperature is by holding your hand four inches above the coals and counting “one potato, two potato…” for seven to eight counts. Begin cooking the crisp when dinner is served; by the time you’ve finished your entree, dessert will be ready. For a decadent finish on your crisp, pack heavy cream or plain yogurt in the cooler.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8-10 servings
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup almond flour
½ cup medium ground corn flour
½ cup almonds, sliced
¼ cup packed coconut sugar (substitute with dark brown sugar)
Zest of 1 lemon
⅛ teaspoon fine Kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
8 ounces heavy cream or full-fat plain yogurt (optional)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
¼ cup rose petals
⅛ teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
6 cups thinly sliced ripe peaches (5-6 peaches)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
PREP AHEAD OF TIME: To prepare the topping, combine the rolled oats, almond flour, medium ground corn flour, sliced almonds, coconut sugar, lemon zest, and fine Kosher salt in a large ziplock bag. Shake to mix and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
To prepare the filling, combine the arrowroot powder, rose petals, and grated nutmeg in a small ziplock bag and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
- Allow the firewood to burn down to coals at medium-low burning temperature.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over the coals or a camp stove. Set aside to cool.
- Thinly slice the peaches on a clean work surface or directly into the Dutch oven. Sprinkle the freshly squeezed lemon juice and vanilla extract over top, and toss with a spoon to combine. Sprinkle the arrowroot powder mixture over top and toss to combine.
- Once the butter is cool, drizzle in the ziplock bag with the toppings mixture and shake to combine, until evenly moist. Pour the topping evenly over the peaches.
- Place the lid on the Dutch oven and set it directly over the coals. Use tongs to transfer an even layer of coals onto the lid (sometimes I add a smoldering log!), creating an oven effect. Bake for 30 minutes before checking on the crisp. Use a Dutch oven lid lifter or welding gloves to remove the lid, being careful not to spill ash or coals into the crisp, and set on a heatproof surface away from campmates. The crisp is ready when the topping is toasted brown and the fruit is bubbling around the edges. Return the lid and continue cooking as needed.
- When the crisp is ready, transfer the Dutch oven to a heatproof surface, warning others that it is very hot. Serve directly into each camper’s bowl, topping with heavy cream or plain yogurt as desired.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container and chill for up to 5 days. Best reheated.
Bake the crisp at home, uncovered, for 45 minutes in a 350°F oven. Tea-grade dried rose petals can be found online or in the bulk section of your grocery store. My favorite supplier is www.mountainroseherbs.com. If you’re feeling adventurous, forage for wild roses and dry the petals at home. There are numerous resources online for identifying wild roses (and drying petals), but when I always prefer to consult someone I know and trust before eating wild food.