PRESERVED CRAB APPLES
Wash your fruit. Cover the bottom of your preserving kettle with grape leaves. Put in the apples. Hang them over the fire, with a very little water, and cover them closely. Do not allow them to boil, but let them simmer gently till they are yellow. Take them out, and spread them on a large dish to cool. Pare and core them. Put them again into the kettle, with fresh vine-leaves under and over them, and a very little water. Hang them over the fire till they are green. Do not let them boil.
Take them out, weigh them, and allow a pound of loaf-sugar to a pound of crab-apples. Put to the sugar just water enough to dissolve it. When it is all melted, put it on the fire, and boil and skim it. Then put in your fruit, and boil the apples till they are quite clear and soft. Put them in jars, and pour the warm liquor over them. When cold, tie them up with brandy paper.
Cut your plums in half, (they must not be quite ripe,) and take am the stones. Weigh the plums and allow a pound of loaf-sugar to a pound of fruit.
Crack the stones, take out the kernels and break them in pieces. Boil the plums and kernels very slowly for about fifteen minutes, in as little water as possible. Then spread them on a large dish to cool, and strain the liquor.
Next day make your syrup. Melt the sugar in as little water as will suffice to dissolve it, (about half a pint of water to a pound of sugar) and boil it a few minutes, skimming it till quite clear. Then put in your plums with the liquor, and boil them fifteen minutes. Put them in jars, pour the juice over them warm, and tie them up, when cold, with brandy paper. [Footnote: Plums for common use, are very good done in molasses. Put your plums into an earthen vessel that holds a gallon, having first slit each plum with a knife. To three quarts of plums put a pint of molasses. Cover them and set them on hot coals in the chimney corner. Let them stew for twelve hours or more, occasionally stirring them, and renewing the coals. Next day put them up in jars. Done in this manner they will keep till the next spring.]
Syrups may be improved in clearness, by adding to the dissolved sugar and water, some white of egg very well beaten, allowing the white of one egg to each pound of sugar. Boil it very hard, and skim it well, that it may be quite clear before you put in your fruit.
Weigh the strawberries after you have picked off the stems. To each pound of fruit allow a pound of loaf-sugar, which must be powdered. Strew half of the sugar over the strawberries, and let them stand in a cold place two or three hours. Then put them in a preserving kettle over a slow fire, and by degrees strew on the rest of the sugar. Boil them fifteen or twenty minutes, and skim them well.
Put them in wide-mouthed bottles, and when cold, seal the corks.
If you wish to do them whole, take them carefully out of the syrup, (one at a time) while boiling. Spread them to cool on large dishes, not letting the strawberries touch each other, and when cool, return them to the syrup, and boil them a little longer. Repeat this several times.
Keep the bottles in dry sand, in a place that is cool and not damp.
Gooseberries, currants, raspberries, cherries and grapes may be done in the same manner. The stones must be taken from the cherries (which should be morellas, or the largest and best red cherries;) and the seeds should be extracted from the grapes with the sharp point of a penknife. Gooseberries, grapes, and cherries, require longer boiling than strawberries, raspberries or currants.
Wash your cranberries, weigh them, and to each pound allow a pound of loaf-sugar. Dissolve the sugar in a very little water, (about half a pint of water to a pound of sugar) and set it on the fire in a preserving kettle. Boil it nearly ten minutes, skimming it well. Then put in your cranberries, and boil them slowly, till they are quite soft, and of a fine colour.
Put them warm into your jars or glasses, and tie them up with brandy paper, when cold.