Camper's Beggar's Pudding [camp fire]
From: Nicole, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Comments: A recipe that we like to prepare year after year.
Serve this pudding hot, along with a little cream or milk.
The aroma is unbelievable... and anyone who walks by the fire and smell this scent will envy you knowing that you will soon eat something that good. We usually spend 2 weeks on the campground and I must say that quite a few of the campers are surprised to see that we cook on the camp fire. They only use it in the evening, but I like to cook over the fire, even when it is raining; my husband makes sure that there always is some embers on the bottom [the trick is to maintain the fire].
I also cook some spaghetti, pancakes, French toasts, toasts, eggs, bacon, coffee, tea, boiled corn-on-the-cob and even heat some water to wash the dishes on the fire.
What I need when camping is a cast-iron casserole, a frypan and a large casserole, the same ones I use in my oven at home during the winter, simply wash and dried them using paper toweling or old clean rags that I want to throw away. It is REALLY IMPORTANT to have a black cast-iron casserole with a lid, barbecue utensils and thick mitts or pot holders.
Cast-rion frypans also are really handy for pancakes, French toasts, even homemade French fries, and a small cast-iron casserole is perfect to boil vegetables or prepare a sauce or a gravy, oatmeal, poach eggs and more. As rolling pin, it is always possible to use an empty clean wine or other bottle or any other round container, even a can.
To cook on the camp fire, prepare a wood logs and charcoals fire; heat until almost only embers are left. Make a hole in the middle and arrange a few regular bricks in the middle to sit on the casserole as you do not want the casserole to touch the embers.
Note : the intense heat can bake a meat pie, a pudding or baked beans with pork in approximately 1 hour. Check regularly as you do not want anything to thick to the casserole or to burn; it is sometimes necessary to remove the casserole after approximately 5 to 10 minutes, to arrange a wire rack over the embers and to continue the cooking onto the wire rack. If needed, add more wood logs or charcoals. When done, recuperate the bricks using a camping shovel; leave brick to cool onto a wire rack, or a cast-iron frypan or casserole wrapped in al foil. Clean these when back at home before wrapping them for the next camping trip.
  • 1 cup [225 g] butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup [200 g] sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 cups [280 g] regular or prepared, with baking powder, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons [10 mL] baking powder [if using regular all-purpose flour]
  • 1 teaspoon [5 mL] salt
  • 1 cup [250 mL] milk
  • 1 teaspoon [5 mL] vanilla
  • 2 cups [500 mL] boiling water
  • 2 cups [500 mL] well-packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon [5 mL] vanilla
  • Into a bowl, cream together softened butter or margarine and sugar or brown sugar whipping vigourously.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder if necessary, and salt; mix into first mixture alternately with already mixed together milk and vanilla until well blended.
  • Evenly pour into a cast-iron casserole.
  • Either mix together sauce boiling water, brown sugar and vanilla into the same bowl or pour boiling water over brown sugar stirring until completely melted before stirring in vanilla.
  • Pour sauce all around the dough so that dough raises for sauce to flow underneath.
  • Cover then transfer casserole onto hot bricks in the middle of camp fire.
  • Bake until just golden on top, to get a cake-like texture.
  • It is really important to watch carefully as when vapor starts to come out, you must transfer the casserole onto a wire rack or cold bricks away from the fire, leaving the cover on to prevent loosing any warmth; leave pudding to rest for 5 to 6 minutes then transfer casserole back onto hot bricks.
  • Repeat proceedings as soon as vapor comes out checking if pudding is done, if the tip of a knife or a wooden skewer comes out dry from the center of the pudding [pudding is done].
  • Baking time is approximately 30 minutes, according to the intensity of the fire.
  • If you do not remove the pudding from the fire, the sauce will overflow, there will be a burning scent [from experience], and there is a risk that the pudding with burn.