Thanks to our friend, Renu, we have been gifted with some incredibly huge Armenian Cucumbers! So what to do with these beauties? Since we had 6 of these monsters, I decided to do something a little out of the box...
You may have heard of the "Mock Apple Pie" recipes, there is one using Ritz Crackers and another that uses Zucchini and I thought if Zucchini works, then why not these overgrown melons? The key ingredient to making this taste like apples is the Cream of Tarter. Most recipes called for about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of it and since I was making sooo much of it, I just upped it to approximately a tablespoon full (really just dumped in what I had left of it). I have to admit, like most of the time I cook, I just winged this and didn't measure anything so I'll relate my best approximations of what was used.
- 1/2 gallon worth of diced Armenian Cucumbers (this was two melons each +/- 18 inches long), peeled and seeded (saved those seeds btw! the melons were ripe enough for viable seeds I think)
- Juice and Zest from 2 Navel Oranges and 3 Limes (would have used Lemons, but I didn't have any at the moment)
- 2 cups packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbls Cream of Tartar
- couple handfuls of dried cherries
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 Tbls cinnamon
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp dried ground ginger
I put all this in a very large saucier type pan brought to a boil then lowered the heat and simmered until the Cuke bits were translucent and I had a chance to adjust the flavors. I added some corn starch to thicken it up (you could use flour or agar or something else I suppose if you prefer) and dumped it all into a baking dish.
The crisp topping was a medley of nuts ground in my blender, whole wheat flour, raw turbinado sugar and some butter. If I were to guess on quantities:
- 1.5 cups nut flour (cashews, almonds, walnuts, flax and pecans)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (freshly grown in said blender, yes I have a Vitamix)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
The dish was baked uncovered for about 45 minutes in my convection oven at 350°F.
This was amazing. It tasted like a rhubarb apple crisp that I grew up with in MN. YUMMM!!
Sorry it didn't last long enough for me to get a picture of the whole thing, we ate some first...