This is a fun and delicious recipe! It came from Cyndi Boyer and was printed in the Spring 2011 Dutch Oven News. We had a hot dog roast on the back of our property and it was the perfect way to end the evening.
I have to admit, I did have a few problems when I made this. Not with the recipe, but with the fact that it was my first time trying to cook with coals from a fire. Talk about an eye opening experience. I thought I was pretty good at gauging heat by feel, but it turns out I'm not. Truth be told, I was just nervous about trying it so I didn't get my oven hot enough. It was the same feeling I had when I first started this whole dutch oven adventure last year, and look how that turned out. I'll only get better.
Here is what I learned my first time out.
First, the coals you use should look a lot like charcoal do. Not in shape, but in color. Some will be covered in ash, some black and grey and some glowing red. The key is that they are all hot.
Next, you have to figure out how many coals to use. This is where I think the Dinwiddie method comes in handy. The main premise behind it is that if you cover a certain amount of surface area your oven will get hot enough to cook with. So I tried to make sure that the coals I used from the fire covered roughly the same surface area that the rings of charcoal would. Easier said than done, I know, but it was a good place to start.
Finally, just check your food as it cooks. If it isn't cooking as fast as it should, grab a shovel and add some more coals, if its cooking too fast, remove some. Just like when you use briquettes.
Its really not that different from using charcoal. You just have to pay attention and make adjustments when necessary. I won't be nearly as intimidated next time I use coals from a fire. And I'm pretty sure I'll be raiding the wood shed again soon! I'd love to hear how you have adjusted to using real coals!
I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures while this was cooking, but I was so preoccupied with the real coals that I completely forgot.
Super Simple Apple Cobbler
12" dutch oven
3 large (21 oz.) cans apple pie filling
2 cans refrigerated cinnamon rolls (Like Pillsbury) with icing
Dump all three cans of pie filling in your dutch oven. Open the cinnamon rolls and separate into individual rolls. With kitchen shears, quarter the cinnamon rolls and sprinkle in a single layer over the pie filling. Bake at 350° until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown. Use 1 1/2 rings on top and 1 ring on the bottom. Drizzle with icing and serve.