I’m comin’ atcha with the latest ambitious endeavor from Joy the Baker!
I’ve been feeling super nostalgic this summer, thinking back to my days as a pre-teen (woof) at sleepaway camp in Los Angeles. These wafts of nostalgia come as we’re deep into summer 2020 and what a wild, sad sad summer it seems to be.
Some people say summer in cancelled – but we can’t have that! We simply have to find a new, safe way to celebrate this summer. My idea? Take it back to OLD SCHOOL SUMMER CAMP. Take it back old school crafts, fire pits in the back yard, and peach cobbler for breakfast! Let’s just lean all the way in, and all the way back to ye olde childhood camp days!
Welcome to CAMP JOY – a six part video series on IGTV. Episode 1: Hollywoodland. Let’s talk about summer camp, build a humble fire pit in the backyard and eat peach cobbler about it.
My friend Whitney and I have, for the last year and a half, been shooting and pitching a Bakehouse television show. The world of trying to sell a television show is gnarly… with lots of meetings. We’ve been passed on more times that we’d like to count but we’ve never been women to give up on something we believe in. This summer we’ve partnered, at a far distance between Los Angeles and New Orleans, to create Camp Joy for you, and for us.
It means so much to us that you watch and enjoy it. I hope that it helps you find inspiration for summer living this year.
We’re bringin’ out the Summer Bucket List and cooking over fire for Day 1 of Camp Joy!
It’s DEEP SUMMER in New Orleans and, if you know what that means, you know that just being outside is an adventure in itself. My first backyard pit is suuuuuper simple. I layered bricks in a circle, spaced so air can get between them, and temporarily placed the grill from Weber atop the brick stack. I have a big patch of gravel in my backyard so it’s easy to place coals on top and cook outside.
Here’s what you’ll need for you backyard cobbler cooker.
• about 32 bricks
• a grill grate
• hardwood coals
• a chimney starter
• a lighter
See here for all sorts of how-to backyard fire pit inspiration.
For this cake-y cobbler you’ll need:
• Peaches (nectarines, plums or any stone fruit mixed with blueberries would be lovely)
• Brown sugar and spices (or substitute white sugar, coconut sugar, or maple syrup)
•. Prepared cornbread mix or cake mix, or dollops of drop biscuits. Make this super simple for yourself!
I’m using a 10-inch cast iron camping dutch oven. It’s the sort with little feet on the bottom to help lift it from the coals a bit. This pot is a gem when actual-camping. You can throw anything inside and throw it on the fire. Sure, some edges will burn but that’s part of the charm.
If you’re going to make this in your oven, a regular dutch oven will do!
Lightly butter the inside of the pot.
To the pot add sliced peaches (or whatever fruit you fancy), brown sugar, spices, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
Stir everything together until the spices seem evenly dispersed, the sugar begins to melt, and the cornstarch disappears.
Pour two cups of prepared cornbread mix over the fruit.
I used cornbread mix but you could certainly use cake mix or scone batter. Whatever you have. Whatever you like.
Start some hot coals in the back yard.
Is this ridiculously hot? Yes. Will you get smoke in the face? For sure. Has my little coal starter been left in a few New Orleans summer storms? Obviously.
I’m stacking bricks four bricks high for this little dutch oven cooker. You’ll also notice the grate over the bricks. That’s from the Weber grill pictured in the background. I just wanted to create a space to set my coal starter to get it going.
If I were going to grill meats and veggies in this set up, I would only stack bricks two bricks high to bring the hot coals closer to the food.
Hot coals top and bottom of the dutch oven cobbler.
It doesn’t look like much, but I’ll tell ya – these coals are screamin’ hot and the whole mixture sizzles!
Grill gloves are 100% required.
Look at this sweet little dream!
Admittedly, this cobbler is more cornbread that cobbler but I listen… I like my desserts with a high proportion of carbs. The bottom of the pan is packed with soft and juicy spiced peaches. The top is crisp and golden around the edges, pillowy soft in the center!
Allow to cool for… well as long as your will power will allow and spoon into bowls. Top with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy the fruits of your labor. There is much fruit and truly so much labor.
The recipe below is written for both coal cooking and oven cooking options. You’ll choose your own adventure. Please know that the coal cooking instructions are a little loose because cooking outside is much more of an adventure than a reliable oven. The key: have fun, sweat it out, hydrate always.
Camp Joy: Cast Iron Cornbread Peach Cobbler
This is summer’s rustic peach cobbler made with juicy peaches, spices, and cornbread mix. The recipe is super adaptable and also delicious with cake mix. I made this cobbler in a 10-inch camp-style dutch oven (with little legs) over coals, with coals on the lid. I’m going to write this recipe for oven preparation but please know you can cook this bb outside with coals!
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, some
- 6 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced
- 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon warming spices like a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves
- 2 cups prepared cornbread mix
- Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. I placed a pizza stone on the rack because my dutchoven has little feet. If you’re using a regular kitchen dutch oven, don’t worry about a pizza stone.
- If you’re baking this cobbler outside over coals, start a big batch of coals and let heat for at least 20 minutes.
- Lightly grease a 10-inch dutch oven with lid, with some of the butter. To the pan add sliced peaches, brown sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, spices, and remaining butter. Everything except for the prepared cornbread mix.
- Stir everything together in the pot until the spices look evenly distributed and the cornstarch has disappeared.
- Pour two cups of prepared cornbread mix (or whatever cake like topping you prefer) over the peaches. Place the lid on the pot and place in the oven. If you’re cooking this outside in a fire pit, carefully empty 2/3 of the hot coals into the fire pit, nestle the pot on top of the hot coals, and shake remaining hot coals on top of the dutch oven lid.
- In the oven allow the cobbler to bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Over coals, carefully check your cobbler after 20 minutes, rotating the dutch oven if you see any hot spots emerge. Bake for another 10 minutes or so as necessary.
- Remove from whatever hot surface you cooked in on or in. Remove the lid and allow to cool for 10 minutes before spooning into bowls and topping with ice cream or whipped cream.