The Backcountry Chef: Fruit-filled Campfire Empanadas


This is a simple, albeit potentially sticky dessert.  You can tell your other backpacker friends (as they are fawning over your cooking prowess and culinary genius) that you spent hours making the perfect dough for this, when in reality, your labor is practically nothing.  You can thank me later.

Good for:  Dessert, backpacking, kids
Time to cook: 5-8 minutes
Serves: 1-2


  1. 2 refrigerated biscuit (flaky layers helps)
  2. 1½ tbsp. fruit pie filling (cherry is my favorite, but choose whatever you like)
  3. Cinnamon and Sugar Mixture (in a sandwich-sized Tupperware is best)
  4. ½ tbsp. butter


  1. Aluminum foil (2 square sheets)
  2. Ziploc Bag
  3. Gas camp stove
  4. Small stick for fishing out hot empanadas


Pre Prep (at home):

  1. Take biscuits out of package, place in a ziploc bag
  2. Mix cinnamon and sugar in tupperware

At Campsite:

  1. Build fire and let burn WAY down to coals
  2. Flatten out biscuit by hand
  3. Spread butter on one side of biscuit, place in center of aluminum foil square
  4. Place a little bit more than a tbsp. of pie filling in the center of flattened biscuits
  5. Fold biscuit in half over filling, seal edges
  6. Enclose whole package in aluminum foil, roll up edges to make sure dessert is fully enclosed
  7. Throw in burnt down embers of fire, do NOT cook too long, maybe 2-2.5 minutes on each side
  8. (Note: the flaky layers comes in handy here, if you do burn the outside, you can just pull the burnt layers off)
  9. When finished, open aluminum foil, flip empanada in cinnamon and sugar mixture to coat outside
  10. Enjoy!

Weekly Backcountry Cooking Tip: How to make a firestarter
PUT THAT LIGHTER FLUID DOWN! I mean it!  There is a way to make a fire, even if you aren’t a boy scout or a fire-breathing dragon, and you can make firestarters at home easily without incurring much cost at all.  Take a cardboard egg carton, cut out the egg cups, fill with dryer lint (don’t tell me you can’t find some of that) and cover the dryer lint with candlewax dripped from a melting candle.  Set this baby on fire when you get the campsite and voila, instant flame.