What in the World Is a “Mountain Pie”?

What in the World Is a “Mountain Pie”?

If you like Hot Pockets, this is for you.

Mountain pies—also known as campfire pies, pudgy pies, and in South Africa, jaffles—are a simple, affordable, and delicious campfire treat. And they’re pretty easy to make: Sweet or savory fillings are sandwiched between a slice of bread, which is then cooked over a fire in a pie iron until the bread is browned and the filling is warmed through. 

Frank Foley, founder of The Roving Foley’s, explains that “mountain pies date back to the 1920s, when pie irons were invented by a man named Charles Champion.” All the way before mountain pies began trending on TikTok.

To make a mountain pie, you need bread, butter, and your choice of filling. “Put a slice of [buttered] bread into each side of the pie iron, and spoon any kind of pie filling onto one side,” Foley says. The filling is where you can get creative. “Fill up with your choice of cheese, veggies, and deli meats, or marshmallow and chocolate chips, for a s’mores style,” says Marlene Croukamp, head of marketing at Kitty Grubs. 

After you’ve assembled your ingredients in the pie iron, close the iron so it’s clamped shut, and the filling is encased between the slices of bread. This helps ensure even cooking, so make sure it’s nice and snug. Cook both sides evenly over your fire, until the bread is brown and crispy and the filling is nice and hot. “Think of it as a hot pocket, campfire pie, or a fireside panini press,” Foley says.

What in the World Is a “Mountain Pie”?

What Are the Best Fillings for Mountain Pie?

While the s’mores mountain pie is a classic, you can get creative and think outside the box, with variations including ham and cheese, eggs and bacon, pizza, and PB&J—the sky’s the limit, so let your imagination run wild.

Sweet Mountain Pies

  • For apple mountain pie, slice apples thinly and use butter, cinnamon, and sugar, for fillings. Swap regular bread for cinnamon to give it some extra flavor, Foley suggests. 
  • For s’mores mountain pie, use classics, such as marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crushed graham crackers. 
  • Or, try a take on PB&J, Croukamp says, with peanut butter, sliced bananas, and cinnamon. To really indulge, add whipped cream, ice cream, and chocolate chips, Croukamp notes.

Savory Mountain Pies

  • For a savory pie, grab some corned or roast beef to resemble a Reuben or Philly cheesesteak sandwich. For the former, fill with rye bread, corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing; and for the latter, fill with thin roast beef, cheese, peppers, and onions, Foley suggests. 
  • You can make a breakfast mountain pie by combining scrambled eggs, bacon (swap bacon for sausage or turkey bacon, if desired), and cheese. 
  • Croukamp likes to make mountain pie pizza by combining tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, and bell pepper strips. 
  • A BBQ mountain pie is also outstanding, which you can make by filling the bread with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, and sharp cheddar cheese. This is an especially nice option in the summer for potlucks and barbecues.

What's This "Special Tool" Required to Make Mountain Pies?

To cook a mountain pie, you need a pie iron. “The iron itself is always made of metal, cast iron, or aluminum, and the handles are metal and long, and often have wooden or plastic ends for safe handling,” says Croukamp. 

What’s more, depending on the region, the shape may vary, from where it’s square, rectangular or round. The pie iron works in the same way a sandwich press machine does—heating up and toasting the slices of bread and mountain pie fillings. 

Croukamp suggests using a stainless steel, round handheld pie iron, which you can even use at home in the kitchen and right over the stove. If cooking for a large group or if you entertain a lot, consider a pie iron set, like this cast-iron set of four, which Croukamp recommends. (It takes a month or two to arrive, so buy in advance, or look elsewhere online for sets available from other retailers with a speedier arrival.) Then, everyone can cook mountain pie masterpieces at once and all together. 


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *