Making Apple Pie in the Backcountry
Yes, you can make pastry in the backcountry—all you need is a round water bottle for a rolling pin and a large ziplock freezer bag for rolling out the dough. It isn’t messy, and freshly baked pie is a real treat. This recipe from A Fork in the Trail is best on a shorter day of hiking or a layover day because it takes some time to bake.
Backcountry Apple Pie
Makes 4 servings
1 cup, plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cups dried apples
2–3 tablespoons water
Mix the salt and 1 cup of flour together and place in a large zip-top freezer bag. Put the vegetable shortening in a leakproof container. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bag. Put the additional flour in a small bag. Put the small bags of sugar and flour inside the large bag with the flour mixture. Pack the dried apples.
Cover the apples with boiling water and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large ziplock freezer bag, mix the shortening with the flour using your fingertips until the mixture looks like small beans.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cool water, and mix until the pastry comes together. Do not knead. Form the dough into a ball and put a little of the additional flour in the bag, lightly coating the inside of the bag and the outside of the pastry. Lay the bag on its side and place the pastry ball in the center. Close the bag, being sure to remove as much air as possible. Use your water bottle as a rolling pin to flatten the bagged pastry. When the pastry is rolled out evenly and about 1/8 of an inch thick, cut one side off the bag.
Place a piece of parchment paper in your pot or pan. Turn the pastry over onto the parchment paper and peel off the rest of the zip-top freezer bag. Put the rehydrated apples in the center of the pastry, keeping the fruit about 2 ó inches from the edge. Sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture. Fold the pastry edges up and over the edge of the filling. The crust should extend on top of the filling about 1 inch toward the center of the pastry. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is cooked and the filling is hot.