Serve Something Cheesy

In a good way. Your campers will remember you as a cooking legend.

By H. Kent Rappleye
Photographs by Pat Haverfield
Styling by Angela Yeung

“Anything you can cook in your kitchen oven, you can cook in a Dutch oven.”

The first time I heard that, I thought to myself, “No way.” Now, one of my favorite things to hear someone say is, “There’s no way that came out of a Dutch oven!”

I have also discovered that adapting a recipe to the Dutch oven isn’t all that hard. A recipe that is normally cooked in a 9-by-13 baking dish fits well into a 12-inch Dutch oven. A dish that is cooked in a 9- or 10-inch cake or springform pan fits well into a 10-inch Dutch oven.

My all-time favorite reaction to something I adapted for the Dutch oven was when I tried baking a cheesecake. I know it’s hard to believe, but you can cook a cheesecake in a Dutch oven.

When people ask, “What’s for dessert?” you can reply, “Oh, I thought I’d just do something with cherries.”

Odds are they will walk away and tell the others, “We’re having cherry cobbler tonight.” I guarantee that when you take the lid off that Dutch oven and “cherry cobbler” turns into an honest-to-goodness cheesecake—well, just be ready to perform CPR on all the folks who pass out.

And one more warning: Be prepared to have people come up to you for the rest of your life and say, “Hey, aren’t you that Scout leader who made the incredible cheesecake in the woods?”

H. Kent Rappleye, past president of the Utah-based International Dutch Oven Society, is an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow.

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