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Mountain Pies Are Essential Treats For Your Next Camping Trip

pie iron filled with blueberries and jelly
pie iron filled with blueberries and jelly - Linda Parton/Shutterstock

The best pairing for a crackling campfire after dark is, of course, a nice warm treat. Preferably something sweet and gooey, certainly something warm, and definitely something loaded with flavor. As you take a bite and gaze into the dancing flames, this delectable snack should enhance the cozy feeling of being on a vacation in the woods. Looking for the ideal sweet to meet these needs? Look no further than the mountain pie.

As tasty as it is easy to make, the mountain pie is a backcountry staple. Unfortunately, cooking outside can be pretty involved. Between Dutch ovens and pop-up kitchens, outdoor cooks rely on a lot of tools to prepare scrumptious camp spreads. As the moon rises over the stars and the campfire banter begins, leaving the fire to crank up the propane stove is probably the last thing on your mind. Mountain pies offer the perfect solution. With a few simple ingredients and nothing more than a roaring campfire, you can enjoy the night sky with a sweet treat in hand.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Build A Mountain Pie

pie iron cooking over a fire
pie iron cooking over a fire - Carol Provins/Shutterstock

Crafted with nothing more than two pieces of bread and a filling, mountain pies are placed in a pie iron and then slowly cooked over a fire. To build these delicious treats, start by buttering the outside of the bread and pushing the pieces onto two sides of a pie iron. Spread your fillings across one of the sides. A word of caution: Don't overload the pie irons! Ingredients can easily bubble out and cause a mess. When the iron is full, make sure it's fully closed before transferring it over to the flames.

Like s'mores, mountain pies are a bit finicky to cook. One minute they're cold and the next minute they're charred beyond repair. Fortunately, pie irons come equipped with a long handle, allowing you to place the goods in the right position while staying at a safe distance from the fire. Try holding the iron away from direct flames and instead using hot coals as a heat source. Make sure to expose both sides of the iron to the heat. The goal should be a flakey, buttery layer of toast on the outside of the pie. When the pie looks ready, remove it from the fire and allow the crust to cool for several minutes before taking a bite.

Experiment With Fillings

pie iron filled with dough and chocolate
pie iron filled with dough and chocolate - Celeste Jenkins/Shutterstock

The best part about mountain pies? You can fill them with whatever you like! Good fillings include anything you'd use to take your s'mores to the next level. Sweet-toothed campers can start by adding chocolate and marshmallows before moving on to more adventurous options. Gooey sweets like caramel and honey work as great alternatives (or additions) to melted chocolate; fresh fruits and berries will add a bright twist to a sugary dessert. If you're looking for even more of a sweet -- and smokey -- kick, a drizzle of dark maple syrup will do the trick.

If you're not keen on sweets, you can make savory mountain pies as well. Anything you would normally add to a hot sandwich or panini will taste good in a pie iron. Deli meats and cheeses make for a great snack and taste excellent sandwiched between buttered bread. If you're feeling creative, you can even attempt a pizza mountain pie, filled with marinara sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

Typically, white bread works best to achieve the toasted, buttery exterior. But don't be afraid to sample different breads and wraps. Two pieces of sourdough can make a mean mountain-style grilled cheese, and a pocket of pita can bring a Mediterranean flare to the campfire. Keep experimenting until you've built the ultimate mountain pie — and then enjoy it under the night sky.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.