Camping Recipe: How to Make a Backcountry Pie

By Brooke Ortel

Nov 26, 2019

person wearing red sweater and jeans holds backcountry fruit pie
Photo by Jordan Cranch

Let’s face it: No meal is truly complete without dessert. Even (or maybe especially) when you’re camping. This classic fruit pie is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth after a long day of hiking—and put a smile on your friends’ faces.

Plus, we promise making pie crust really isn’t that difficult. Check out this recipe from NOLS Cookery and make sure to pack some extra dried fruit and baking supplies on your next trip!

Watch: How to Make a Backcountry Pie

Ingredients for Crust

  • 4 tbs. butter
  • ⅔ to 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbs. brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1½ cups dried fruit
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ to ⅔ cup of sugar (to taste, also depends on fruit used)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 tbs. flour
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (if desired)
  • Granola or Grape Nuts for garnish

Note: Serves 4 from a 12" pan.


1. Make the crust: Start by melting the butter. Mix in other ingredients until the crust is the consistency of a graham cracker crust—not greasy, but a bit dry. Pat into bottom of a frying pan and bake 5–10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

wooden spoon stirs pie crust ingredients in a frying pan
Photo by Jordan Cranch

2. Make the filling: Simmer fruit in water until hydrated. Drain off all juice except ½ cup. Save drained juice. Add butter, salt, sugar, and spice to fruit. Stir well. In a separate bowl, mix flour with drained-off juice (about ⅓ cup) and stir into fruit. Add nuts, if desired. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened.

wooden spoon stirs re-hydrated dried fruit to make pie filling
Photo by Jordan Cranch

3. Put it all together: Pour thickened filling into baked crust and allow to set. Garnish with granola or Grape Nuts.

backcountry pie with garnished top sits in a frying pan in the snow
Photo by Jordan Cranch


  • This recipe can also be made with fresh fruit or berries. Just increase the amount of fruit and decrease the water; adjust with a thickener.
  • Try making a pie with a rolled crust. (If you need a refresher, take a look at our Quiche Moraine recipe in NOLS Cookery.)

Check out NOLS Cookery for more of our favorite backcountry recipes.

Written By

Brooke Ortel

Brooke is a runner and writer who enjoys finding adventure in the everyday. True to her island roots, she loves sunshine, that salty ocean smell, and the sound of waves against the shore.

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