Up your campfire cooking game beyond s’mores to impress your fellow campers or backyard guests with a steaming hot pudgy pie. These classic camping treats feature a crisp, buttery crust and your choice of fillings. Make these toasty, pressed sandwich pies with your choice of sweet or savory ingredients. This versatility allows you to make pudgy pies for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert
There is only one essential piece of equipment for making pudgy pies: A pie iron. This user-friendly cooking utensil is similar to a two-piece pan made of heavy aluminum or cast iron. The iron has a long handle so that you can comfortably hold it over the fire without burning your hands. Some pie irons come with detachable handles. When buying a pie iron, look for cast iron options, which heat evenly and are more durable than their aluminum counterparts. If you can’t find a pie iron, you can try making pudgy pies in a cast iron skillet or grill pan with a cast iron press.
The most basic, necessary ingredient for a pudgy pie is bread. While many versions of the recipe call for sliced sandwich-style bread, you can also use biscuit dough or crescent roll dough to create a variation on the classic. Make basic grilled cheese-like pudgy pies with your favorite cheese, or create an entire meal inside of your sandwich by filling the bread with bacon and eggs, chicken or beef and steamed vegetables. Top off your campfire meal with a sweet treat by making a true pie-like dessert. Fill your bread with sweet ingredients such as fresh fruit, pie filling, chocolate chips or applesauce.
Cooking a Pudgy Pie
Start a campfire or light a fire in your outdoor fire pit. Once the flames are going, place your pie iron in the fire to preheat it. While the iron is heating up, butter one side of two slices of bread. Place one piece of bread with the unbuttered side facing up and add your filling. Top the mixture with the second piece of bread, arranging it so that the buttered side faces out. Remove the pie iron from the fire, open it, place the sandwich inside and close the iron, trimming the crusts if necessary. Close the pie iron and place in or over the fire. Cook the pudgy pie for four to five minutes, turning the iron periodically for even cooking.
Making Pudgy Pies Indoors
Indoor cooking won’t give you the same flavor that’s achieved by cooking over a campfire, but you can use your pie iron to make indoor pudgy pies. If the iron has a removable handle, preheat the iron in your oven. You can also use it to cook on top of your gas or electric stove. You can also achieve similar results without a pie iron. Pie irons toast both sides of the sandwich bread while lightly pressing the sandwich together, not all that unlike a panini press. Cooking the sandwich in a heavy bottomed grill pan and pressing it with a cast iron sandwich press is another way to make a variation of the pudgy pie.
References and ResourcesCampground Cookery: Great Recipes for Any Outdoor Activity; Brenda Kulibert
Let's Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious and Otherwise Commendable Things From Times Gone By; Lesley M. M. Blume
Sandwich: A Global History; Bee Wilson
The Kitchn: How Can I Make 'Pudgy Pies' Indoors?
Rome Industries, Inc.: What Are Pudgy Pies