Cucumbers are clean, crisp, and refreshing. Why do we often sour them, turning them into pickles? Although candied cucumbers resemble bread and butter pickles, I assure you that they taste nothing alike.
Candied cucumbers taste like candy! They are sticky, sweet, and – since I added some fresh mint when I candied them – minty fresh! These candied cucumbers made a gorgeous topper for my cucumber martini cupcakes (coming soon). But, they would also steal the show on an after-dinner cheese plate or perched on the side of a glass of an actual cucumber martini.
How to Make Candied Cucumber
I found the instructions for making candied cucumber from Cluracon on Instructables. Here’s her recipe in my own words:
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- Thinly slice the cucumber. I found that 1/4" slices worked the best. I tried using 1/8" slices and many of them broke when I lifted them off of the baking sheet. I used the crinkle cut blade on my mandoline to cut them, but you could certainly cut them by hand (and not obsess about making them all equal thickness).
- Fill a large pan with sugar and water. Try to use a pan with a large diameter (don't worry about it being tall) that can fit many cucumber slices without them overlapping. Don't worry if they won't all fit. I did mine in two batches.
- Heat the sugar and water on medium-high and mix periodically until the sugar completely dissolves.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and toss in the mint and as many cucumber slices as you can fit without them overlapping.
- Cook the cucumbers for 20 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or with parchment paper.
- Scoop the cucumbers out of the syrup and place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Return any large chunks of mint to the pot (because the candied cucumber slices look better without big green chunks stuck to them).
- Repeat steps 4-8 for the second half of your cucumber slices.
- Bake cucumbers at 180 F for two hours.
- Carefully remove cucumbers from the trays and enjoy.
I posted the above photo on Facebook and asked people to guess what it was. I had over 100 guesses. Many of you were close – you could tell it was a cucumber or a pickle and you knew it was dehydrated. But, no one guessed it was candied.
It’s time to start thinking of cucumbers as sweets. Give candied cucumbers a try and let me know what you think!