I posted the recipe for Upside Down Prune Cake and at the time speculated if this could be done in a Dutch oven. Well, over this past weekend, I was at a history timeline event camped next to a friend who is quite proficient with Dutch oven cooking. She indulged me, and we decided to try it!
First, fresh prunes are not available until August, and at that, difficult to find. I used jarred prunes from Sunsweet, and pitted them. We melted the butter over the fire in a copper pot, then placed that at the bottom of a ceramic pie plate. Next we layered the ingredients as the recipe instructed.
Once there was a good fire under the oven and it was well heated, a trivet was placed in the bottom of the oven and the cake on the trivet. The trivet allowed for air circulation under the pie plate. We replaced the oven lid and left it alone for 20 minutes or so. I checked it and rotated the plate 180 degrees to even out the cooking.
Since there is no thermostat on a fire, we didn’t know how long this would need to cook. At 25 minutes, it was not cooked through. 20 minutes later, it was a bit scorched on the edges and we were not able to turn it out on a plate.
The cake itself was not terribly sweet. Had the glaze not overcooked, once turned out it would have been a nice top to a moist cake. We did not serve it with whipped cream because we had no electricity with which to whip.
The camp kitchen serves lunch family style, with all kinds of pickles and fruits in jars down the center of the table, and desserts on a buffet of sorts off to the side. I can happily say that friends and family alike tried the cake, although I can’t guarantee they liked it. My sister took some pictures that I will try to get hold of and post at a later date.