Introduction: Orange Muffins on the Fire
Runner Up in the
Camping Food Challenge
Here's the video of this project.
For me, camping is being outdoors, enjoying fresh air and scenery, and unplugging from our tech-focused world. I live in a big city, some days I don’t even see a blade of grass, and I lose touch with the sights and sounds of nature.
There is a certain primal allure to cooking on an open fire, chatting with the background of owls and crickets, and facing the setting (or rising) sun with nothing but flashlights. But on a recent camping trip, I thought it would be fun to figure out a way to do it without sacrificing certain basic amenities. I call it Fancy Camping.
Fancy Camping is about fully enjoying the camping experience, but adding some niceties to smooth out some of the "roughing it." I’ve always had a particular love of breakfast, so I spent some serious time thinking about the first campsite wake-up. Visions of smoky bacon and fresh pastries filled my head. I wondered… is that possible?
Hot baked goods are absolutely possible while camping.
Step 1: Tools and Ingredients
- Orange Peeling Tool
- Plastic Zip Bag
- 8 oz covered jar or bowl
- 6 - 8 Medium Oranges
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 1/2 C milk
- 1 egg
- Berries (optional)
Step 2: Prepare Your Oranges
Use medium/large oranges. If you have a special citrus peeler, use that. (Sunkist has one that looks like a pointed stick, I used this thumb-operated model.) Remove the peel in two halves and set aside. If you don’t have a special peeler, just cut the oranges in half and remove the fruit with a spoon, leaving the halved peels intact. The fruit can become part of your fruit salad.
Step 3: Prepare Batter
Next, prepare the muffin batter. To make things easy for travel, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a plastic zip bag before leaving home. When you're ready to make the batter, in a jam jar, combine vegetable oil, milk, and egg. Shake to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bag that has the dry ingredients. Zip it up and knead/mix away.
Cut off the corner of the bag.
Step 4: Pipe Into Orange Peels
Pipe the batter into HALF of your peels until each orange is about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Add berries, if using. Place a top on each orange, and transfer to your fire.
Step 5: Cook
Carefully place the batter-filled oranges on a piece of vented foil directly in your hot coals and let bake for 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the heat of your fire.) With the tops in place, the smoke is kept out of your muffins and the moisture kept in.
Step 6: Enjoy
When they’re finished baking, crack open the peels and eat with a fork. The muffins will be the moistest, most flavorful you’ve ever tasted -- beautifully orange-infused, sweet and crumbly and decadent. Topped with a little butter and maybe some homemade jam, they’re simply delicious. If that weren’t enough, there’s minimal clean up, and the muffin ‘wrappers’… biodegradable! How's that for some fancy camping?!
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