The Wayback Machine: Campfire Apple Muffins in Oranges

A while back, we went on a short car-camping trip to Blue Mounds, WI (an excellent campground which I highly recommend, if you're in the area)  I particularly enjoy the challenge of cooking over an open fire, which is easy enough to do when you're grilling meats and vegetables, or toasting marshmallows, but a bit more challenging when it comes to baking, not in the least because you don't have the equipment. I'd read this idea and was eager to try it.

I had pre-made and packed an applesauce muffin mix - simple enough, and requiring only a few additions to prepare it:

For the mix:

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons quick cooking oats

(note: save a bit of the mix for dusting the bottom of each orange)

To prepare, add:

1 egg, lightly beaten - or at a campsite, I use a liquid egg substitute
1 cup unsweetened applesauce plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
So, I set Sparky to combining the mix and wet ingredients with our camp whisk while I prepared the oranges:
First, I cut the top and a thin slice off the bottom of each orange like so:

Then, I cut a small conical section out of each orange, to reach the rest of the insides more easily.  After that, I cut around the inside of the orange and lifted it out in semicircle-like sections, and scraped the remaining pulp from the bottom with the point of my knife.

After that, Sparky put all the empty orange peels in aluminum foil, filled them with muffin batter, and carefully closed the top.
Then, using tongs, we nestled the packets in the coals of our fire, and turned them periodically for about thirty minutes, opening to check them occasionally.  The muffins were done when the sides of the oranges gave slight resistance to the tongs.
We then peeled the foil away, and had beautiful applesauce muffins in our oranges.  Delicious!  The scent of orange zest filled the whole campsite, and the muffins were moist and smoky and hot and apple-orangey.   Quite the pleasant wake-up call when you're camping in the North Woods - and you can squeeze the orange pulp in a cheesecloth and have fresh OJ to go with your muffin.

Filed under: Cooking with Kids, Recipe

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