I've been dying to try another open fire recipe and I'm so glad I picked a dessert this time. I should probably be learning the basics before getting into open fire "baking" but I figured a chocolate cherry crisp would be a lot easier to start off with than a cake or something more delicate.
You might remember a few months ago, I posted my first open fire recipe for veggie curry. It was really more of my mom's recipe. She's the open fire cooking expert! I just provided an extra set of hands, wrote and photographed the recipe, and tried to learn some new things. Anyways, in that post, I went over some open fire cooking basics like what type of equipment you'll want to look into if you don't have a setup already.
Since then, my mom has moved her setup to their lake house and invested in a new fire pit. It's a lot more expensive than her original "grill and spit" setup but also nicer when it comes to both appearance and usability. It also seems more like something you'd still want to use just to set some chairs around and keep warm while hanging out outside if you weren't busy cooking on it. However, I'd still recommend the grill and spit if you're just starting out or just playing with the idea of open fire cooking. You really just need a way to get the food elevated over the fire. Here's a photo of the original setup if you didn't see the first open fire blog post:
Aside from the setup, you'll also want heat-resistant gloves for handling the lid and pan, some metal tongs (I'd recommend extra long tongs) for getting hot coals out of the fire, and a large cast iron dutch oven or some sort of cast iron pan with a lid.
I have to warn you, this recipe is huge! I bought ingredients expecting to be working with a small pan but when I got to my parents house, my mom gave me this 13 inch dutch oven to work with! I wrote in the recipe that it makes 12 servings but I think you might be able to get more out of it, depending on how much you had to eat before getting to dessert. It's definitely great for outdoor entertaining and serving a crowd but feel free to use a smaller cast iron pan and cut the recipe in half.
I think this makes a pretty good beginner open fire recipe, especially if you're wanting to make a dessert. The topping can be made ahead of time while the pan is preheating. After that, it's just a matter of cooking down and thickening the cherries, adding some chocolate, then spooning the topping over that. Once the topping is on, you cover it with the preheated lid and put some hot coals on that that to get some heat from the top (like an oven!)
I don't think I've ever had chocolate in a fruit crisp recipe before but since there are so many fruit crisp recipes with caramel, I thought adding something sweet like chocolate might taste great. (I was right :)) Now, you probably remember I can't stand ice cream (or anything that even remotely tastes like milk - which I'm allergic to anyways) and dairy free ice cream tastes ok when I'm in the mood. Which is almost never. However, I added some dairy free vanilla ice cream for the photo and thought it really balanced out the richness of the chocolate. I might even say I recommend it. And if you're part of the 99.9% of the population who loves ice cream, I definitely recommend it!
Before getting to the recipe, I wanted to quickly mention the ads you've been seeing on my website the past few days. I've tried to keep this website ad-free as long as possible and that's lasted about three and a half years. However, the blog has gotten way too expensive for me to maintain on my own, especially with a baby on the way! I'm hoping the ads will help cover part of the expenses and I hope you don't mind them. They're a little excessive at the moment so I'm currently working with my ad network to minimize them so that my site I've worked so hard on still looks nice and readers can still enjoy the site with the ads taking a backseat to the content everyone's here for.
- 1 C almond flour
- 1 C pecans, lightly chopped
- ½ C coconut sugar
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ C coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 5 12 oz bags frozen, pitted cherries
- 2 Tbsp tapioca starch
- 2 Tbsp cold water
- 1 9 oz bag Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips
- Line a 13 inch/8 quart cast iron pan with parchment paper. Preheat with matching lid over an open fire.
- Meanwhile, Stir together the almond flour, pecans, coconut sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cut in coconut oil using a fork and set aside.
- Once the pan is hot, melt the coconut oil in the pan then stir in the frozen cherries. Stir occasionally until the cherries are broken down a bit.
- Whisk together tapioca starch and cold water until the starch is dissolved. Stir into the cherries then stir in the chocolate chips. Distribute mixture evenly across the pan.
- Evenly spoon the almond flour mixture on top of the cherries and cover with the preheated lid. Use long tongs to cover the lid with hot coals and let cook 20-30 minutes, until the topping is lightly browned. Change out the hot coals as often as necessary.
- Once the topping is browned, remove the coals and remove the cherry crisp from the heat. Allow to cool a bit and serve warm topped with ice cream, if desired.