Chap. V. – Preserving, pp.48-74.

[Preserving Contents]

Orange Peel.

   Take Seville oranges, cut the skin in quarters and strip it off; put them in a strong pickle of salt and water and let them remain ten days; or they may be kept in the pickle till you use them. Those who make large quantities procure the skins from the fruit merchants in London, who send them in casks to the country ready pickled. They are taken out of the cask as they are wanted, only observe to keep them well covered with pickle at all times. 

   Have ready one or more well seasoned iron bound casks, according to the quantity you need; set them on their end upon a gauntrees, to admit a pan being placed below them to receive the syrup; pierce a hole above the bottom and put in a spiggot. Take the skins out of the pickle and cover the bottom of the pan, placing them with their mouths downwards, as it prevents burning; then fill the pan quite full, cover them up close with a cloth, and fill it up with water. As the water evaporates fill it up with boiling water; a large pan will require four or five hours boiling, boil them till they can be pierced with a straw, then throw them into a tub of cold water. Fill the pan again, and while it is boiling, proceed to take out the pulp of the boiled skins; by putting in your thumb betwixt the skin and the pulp and turning them round in your hand the pulp slips clean out; as you do them throw them into cold water. When got the quantity you want all ready pulped, drain the water from them, then begin to put them into the preserving cask by casing them within one another, but not too close, as it prevents the syrup from getting through. Place them in rows, round and round the cask, till it is more than two-thirds full; then lay over them a few narrow strips of wood, and across these fix two strong pieces to prevent the skins from rising; set the cask to a side and let them drain through the hole at the bottom while the syrup is preparing. If you have three or more casks, make as much syrup with raw sugar as cover the first cask, put in the spiggot, then pour it on them boiling hot and cover them up. Next day pull out the spiggot and let the syrup run off into the pan, boil it up to a good strength, pour it on the second cask, and so proceed to the third or fourth; by that time the syrup, if it be tasteless, may be thrown away. After the syrup is run off the first cask, make ready a fresh syrup, which pour on and go through the casks in the same manner. Then clarify a pan of lump sugar and fill each cask, which run off and boil up twice or thrice a week for a month, when they will be ready to candy. Observe that as often as the sugar is drawn off it requires to be thickened with more lump sugar broke into the pan among the syrup; for if the sugar is not of a good body at the last boiling, they will not keep. If you want the skins to remain in the syrup, the sugar, if thin, will ferment, and the consequence will be the total loss of the skins and syrup; therefore great care should be taken, upon the least appearance of fermentation, to boil up the sugar directly. 

   Small quantities may be made in a jar; proceed as already directed, only in place of raw, begin with lump sugar at first, and when the syrup is thin add more sugar. A few sticks of cinnamon may be put in to add to the flavour; boil up the sugar every other day for two weeks, and once a week for a month; in the last boiling make the sugar a proper thickness to keep them. 

Lemon Peel

Is done in the same way, only the skins require more boiling to make them tender. Cedraties, or citrons, are done in like manner. 

   If it is not convenient to keep orange or lemon peel in syrup, draw it all off and wash the skins in water, lay them on wire riddles, put them in a warm place, and when so dry as pack up, case them one within another, pack them in boxes, and when candying boil them a few minutes in syrup. 

   Note. –  For making cakes, gingerbread, &c. they may be used without candying, but made clear by boiling in the syrup, drained, and then cut in small stripes

Orange and Lemon Chips.

   Choose the oranges, and lemons, of good colour, then, with a small sharp knife, pare them round in chips by turning with the one hand against the edge of the knife, which is held firm; endeavour to keep the chip whole. If you make them of fruit already squeezed, you must have a piece of cork cut round to fill them up; cut them equal, about one-third of an inch in breadth, but not so thick; put them in a net and boil them gently about an hour and a half, or till they are tender. After being drained put them in a wide jar, pour on them a good strong syrup, boiling hot; cover them up, boil up the syrup again next morning, and give the chips ten minutes boiling in the syrup; repeat the boiling three mornings. At this last boiling make a good strong syrup for them; at the end of eight days boil it up again, and if they are not clear repeat the boiling the week after. The lemon chips should get about fifteen minutes boiling in the sugar to make them clear before candying. They are kept in the syrup, well covered, and when candied drained from it. 

Oranges Whole.

   Choose the oranges large, high coloured, and smooth, with stalks; cut a round hole in the top to admit a tea spoon, with which take out the pulp clean, lay them in a pickle of salt and water a few days; boil them till tender, throw them into cold water, in which let them remain a night; draw all the water from them, and place them in a flat vessel with the tops up, so as receive the syrup; boil up as much syrup very smooth as will cover and fill them well. Next day pour off the syrup, which will be very thin, and add more sugar to make it a proper thickness; boil it up again and pour over them; and proceed as directed in making chips. At the last boiling put in the oranges and give them ten minutes boil; remove them carefully into the jar, and add the juice of an orange or lemon to the syrup, as it prevents it from candying. If at any time the sugar spots, or appears to ferment, boil it up again. 

   Note. – Lemons are done in the same manner, by scooping out the pulp before boiling them. As the oranges are apt to break, it is more advisable to boil them first; but then you lose the juice, which is saved the other way. 

   Preserved oranges are much used in deserts, and look well when carved. They are placed in top glasses, and angelica, cut out in imitation of leaves, put in to fill up the hole in the top. They are sometimes filled with a rich custard, and eat very nicely. 

   To carve them. –  Take a piece of steel watch spring, double it, but not close, and fix it in a handle of wood; with this you carve any device according to fancy by running it in grooves. It is done before pulping, or boiling the oranges. 

Cucumbers in Imitation of Citron.

   Take the largest and best looking cucumbers, lay them in a strait mouthed jar, pour upon them a strong pickle of salt and water; cover them well with the leaves of coleworts, or kail; let them stand near the fire for four days, when they will be all yellow. Then take them out, wipe them, put them into a pan, cover them with two parts vinegar and one part water, one or two tea spoonfuls of pounded alum, some dill, or fennel; cover them up with vine leaves, or coleworts as before, and bring them to boil on a slow fire; take them off, let them cool. If they are not then of a good green, it may be proper to change the leaves, and to repeat the scalding and cooling until they attain that colour. Divide them longways in two or four parts, clean them from the seeds and pap, lay them in cold water, changing the water three or four times a day, till it comes from them clear and tasteless. Take as much well clarified sugar as cover them, add to each pound one ounce of ginger, which must be previously boiled some time in water to make it tender and swell. Add also nutmeg or cloves, according to taste, and the peel of a few lemons pared thin; boil up the syrup; when cold put in the cucumbers and boil them slowly half an hour. Put them carefully in jars, tie them close up, and at the end of five days, put them in a pan all together on a clear fire; boil them 10 or 15 minutes, clean out the jars, lay in the cucumbers; then boil the syrup very smooth, and when cold pour it over the cucumbers and tie them up for use. They are candied the same way as orange peel, and may be used for every purpose that citron is ordered; and as they are a beautiful green, look well in seed cakes, &c. 

Angelica in Knots.

   Angelica is a very fine preserve, it may be prepared in lengths, or in knots, according to fancy. Take the stalks when thick and tender, cut them in lengths, and scald them, or boil them till tender, put them in water, strip off the skins, and open them. If for knots, cut them in narrow slips, take a weak syrup and boil them in it some time, set them by till next day; boil them again, do the same the third day; if they are not a good green, repeat the boiling; then boil up the syrup very smooth and pour it over them, and set them by for use. They are tied in knots before they are candied; they should be kept in a vessel the length of the pieces, and care should be taken to keep them whole. 

Cedraties and Melons, Whole or in Quarters.

   Cut a hole through the middle of them, put them in a large preserving pan with water; boil them about an hour and a half, drain the water from them by setting them on their ends in a split sieve; boil up a proper quantity of syrup till smooth, put the fruit into a deep can, pour on the syrup. After three days, boil them in the syrup for half an hour, taking care they grow not too soft; lift them out, and put them again into the can. If the sugar is too weak, add more and boil it smooth, pour it on them and repeat the boiling of the syrup for eight days, then set them aside for use. They may be quartered, scraping out the seeds and soft pulp. 


   Take small green cucumbers, rub them clean, then scald them in hot water; boil as much syrup smooth as cover them, then put in the cucumbers, boil them softly for some time, and set them past till next day. Repeat this three times; at the third boiling they are kept on the fire till tender and clear, and then put glasses. 


   Apricots for preserving are gathered before the stones become hard; put in a pan of water with vine leaves under and above them, and placed on a slow fire until they are yellow. They are then carefully rubbed with a flannel cloth and some salt, to take off the down, or lint, and again put into the pan, covered close, and placed at a good distance from the fire, until they obtain a light green colour. They must be handled very tenderly, and now all the broken and bad coloured ones are taken out. They are then put in a pan with a thin syrup, and boiled gently a few minutes; then taken off and set by till cold. This boiling and cooling is repeated three times. When they look clear and plump, take them out, and boil up the syrup to a proper degree of thickness to keep them; if not enough syrup to cover them, add more, put in the fruit and boil them again for a little. Put them in pots or glasses, and when cold lay a paper dipped in brandy on the top of each; paper and tie them up. 

Garlick for Coughs.

   Peel the heads, throw them in water, give them a boil and proceed with them as directed for apricots. 


   Take peaches that are not too ripe, rub off the lint with a soft cloth, rip them down with a pin, at the seam, but only through the skin; put them in a vessel, cover them with brandy, and tie them up for a week. Then boil as much a sugar very smooth as cover them, lift out the peaches from the brandy into the syrup, and boil them till they are clear. When cold put them in pots, or glasses; pour on the syrup, or mix it first with a part of the brandy; tie them close up with a wet bladder. If air is admitted, they grow black, and are, consequently, useless

Peaches Dried.

   The Newington peach is generally made use of for this purpose. When fully ripe they are split and the stones taken out, and as this is done they are dropped in a pan of boiling water, where they remain a short time to scald. Have ready as much syrup in a pan as will cover them, and when scalded take them out of the water and put them into the syrup; give them a boil, if any scum rises take it clean off, and set them by till next day; add more syrup, if there is not a sufficient quantity to cover them; boil it till it blows strong; the peaches are then put in, boiled for some time, and set by as before. They are boiled a third time, until the sugar is pretty thick; then set in a warm stove for a few days; afterwards drained from the syrup, and laid out on sheets of tin, or wires, the one half over the other, and dusted with pounded sugar; then set in the hot stove. Next day they are turned and again dusted, and when thoroughly dry, packed up in a box, and kept in a dry place. 

Peach Chips.

   Pare the peaches, take out the stones, slice them in very thin slices; and to every pound of chips take one pound and a half of sugar, made into a syrup and boiled to blow strongly; put in the chips, give them a boil, and when near cold boil them again, and cover them up. Next day drain them, lay them out, separating them from one another, dust them and dry them, turning them every day with a spattula, and when properly dry pack them up. 


   Quinces red or white, may be preserved either whole or in quarters. 


   Pare and bore the quinces, put them into a pan of hard water, cover them with the parings to keep them down; cover the pan, so as no steam may escape; let them stew on a slow fire till soft, and of a fine pink colour; let them stand till cold. Have as much syrup ready as will cover them, which will generally be as much as they weigh of sugar; put in the quinces, and boil them 10 or 15 minutes; let them cool; repeat the boiling again and again, until they look clear. If the sugar is not of a proper strength to keep them, boil up more in another pan, and when strong add it to the quinces. Put them into pots, or glasses, cover them with paper dipped in brandy, and tie them up with wet bladders. 


   Take equal weight of quinces and sugar, make a thin syrup, put in the quinces, and boil them very fast, uncovered, until clear, and the sugar strong, then pot them up. 


Are preserved white in the same way. 

Pine Apples,

To be preserved, are taken before they are ripe; lay them in salt and water about five or six days, on the bottom of a pan proportioned to the number to be preserved; put plenty of vine leaves under and over them, then pour in the water they had lain in; cover them well up, set the pan on a very slow fire, and let them stand until they are of a fine green colour. Have ready as much thin syrup as cover them, put them carefully in a jar, with their tops on, pour on the syrup when almost cold; let them remain a week well covered with the syrup; drain off the syrup, boil it up, then pour it on. Repeat the boiling frequently in the course of two or three months, when they will look full and green; then boil up the syrup and add more fresh syrup to cover them sufficiently; add some ginger, which has been first softened in water by boiling, boil the syrup so as to keep without any further boiling, and pour it on the fruit; when near cold tie up the jars with wet bladders. 

Pine Apple Chips.

Chip off the top, stalk, ends, outsides and bottoms of the pine apples; cut them in slices about one-fifth of an inch thick. Take a deep earthen pan, have equal weight of sugar pounded, put a layer of sugar on the bottom of the pan, then a layer of chips, then sugar, a and so proceed until the vessel is near full. Put a good deal of sugar on the top, cover them close up with paper, and let them stand till the sugar is near dissolved; then let them boil in this syrup half an hour. Next day boil them again; do so daily for eight days, then drain all the syrup from them. If the syrup is ropy dip the chips in a little warm water, wipe them and lay them on sieves to dry, dusting a little sugar over them; put them in a stove to dry gradually, then put them in boxes with slips of white paper between each row. 

Wine Grapes in Clusters.

   The great Gascoyne grapes, when they are green, and not too ripe, are used for this purpose. Pickle and pierce each of them with a pin, and weigh to every pound of grapes twenty ounces good lump sugar, make it into a syrup with the juice of the grapes strained. When it is pure, put in the grapes and the syrup in a broad bason, cover them close, put them in a pan of scalding water, and let them boil; when they become tender take them carefully out and boil up the syrup pretty strong; lay the grapes in jelly pots, only observe not to have one bunch above another, which would spoil them; pour over them the syrup, and when cold tie them up. 

Grapes Dried.

   Wash out the bunches from the syrup with water, lay them on sieves, put them in a warm stove to dry, turning them frequently. When dry pack them up. 


   Take ripe cherries, either stone them or take off the stalks, and pierce each of them with a pin. For every pound of cherries take twenty ounces of lump sugar, pound the one half of it and strew it over the cherries; or put a layer of sugar and cherries alternately; set them past all night. Make the other half of the sugar into a syrup and boil it till it blows; add a pint (mutchkin) of red currant juice for each pound of sugar, then put in the cherries, boil them all together and set them past; next day boil them again, then put them into pots, or glasses. If you want any dried, drain them from the syrup, put them on wire sieves, set them in a hot stove, turn them daily until dry, then pack them up. 

   Note. – To stone cherries, cut a quill of a proper thickness somewhat like a toothpick, only give it a flat, or round end, thrust it down over the stone, and keep hold of the stalk while you pull the quill out. This method prevents the cherries from being torn

Green Gage Plumbs.

   Plumbs of every kind are all done in one way, at least the difference is very immaterial. Take the above plumbs before they are quite ripe, put a layer of vine leaves (or kail blades) on the bottom of a pan, and then a layer of plumbs, then vine leaves, and so on alternately, with leaves and plumbs, till the pan is nearly full. Fill it up with water, set it on a slow fire, and when the plumbs are hot and begin to crack, take them off and pair off the skins, carefully putting them in a sieve as they are done. Lay them in the pan as before, with fresh leaves and the same water, only having the pan a good distance above the fire, until they obtain a green colour. They should, at this second heating, be so closed up that no steam can escape. They require a good many hours to gain the colour; when green enough take them out and lay them on a sieve to drain. Have ready a good smooth syrup, into which put them and boil them gently twice a day for two days; then boil up the syrup, adding more if needful. Put the plumbs in your pots, or glasses, pour the syrup on them, cover them with paper dipped in brandy; then tie them up with paper. 

   Note. – Some do not pull off the skins of the plumbs

   The Green Admirable Plumb, makes a beautiful preserve. When full When full grown and beginning to turn, take and pierce them with a pen knife in two or three places; they are then scalded by degrees, and proceeded with as ordered in the gage plumbs. 

   Note. – If they do not readily take in the sugar, pierce them again and again, with any sharp bodkin, or fork

Yellow Amber Plumbs.

   When fully ripe, take them and put them in a pan, with as much syrup as cover them, boil them a few minutes, set them by till next day, boil them again, and proceed as already directed. 

   Note. – If you want any plumbs dried, drain them from the syrup, lay them on sieves, dust them with sugar, put them in a hot stove, turn and dust them daily till dry


   Figs are preserved nearly in the same manner as orange peel. They are first cut across the top, then laid in a strong pickle of salt and water, that will bear an egg, for ten days; then boiled in fresh water until a pin will easily pierce them, then drained and thrown among cold water, and shifted into more cold water daily for four days. They are then drained, and put into a smooth syrup, which is made warm; next day it is made warm again; when they become green boil up fresh syrup till it blows, lay them in it; next day give them a boil up and set them past in pots &c. for use; or drain and dry them. If the figs are ripe, cut them across the top, put them in syrup, give them a good boil, and next day proceed as ordered above. 


   Clarify to each pound of rasps one pound four ounces of sugar, boil it till it blows, then put in the rasps, and as they boil, strew over them, at three or four times, four ounces pounded sugar. Let them boil quick, and when the sugar covers them in boiling, take them off and let them cool; then add for every pound of rasps one half pint (mutchkin) of red currant juice; put them again on the fire to boil, till the syrup hangs in flakes on the skimmer, or spoon, or by taking a little out to cool upon the bottom of a jelly pot, it jellies; take them off the fire, carefully take off any scum, and pot them; tie them up in a day or two, first laying paper dipped in brandy close upon the top of each pot. 


   Strawberries are done the same way, and are much used in making ice-cream, &c. 

Raspberry Jam.

   Take equal weight of raspberries and good lump sugar, clarify and boil the sugar till it blows strong, slip in the rasps, and keep stirring, as it is apt to burn on the bottom of the pan; when it jellies, (which is known by frequently cooling a little on the bottom of a jelly pot or plate) take the pan off the fire and pot them up. Two days after, lay paper dipped in brandy over them and tie them up. This jam is also used for making ice-cream, tarts, &c.

Green Gooseberries.

   Take the large green kind, clip off the tops but leave the stalks, slit them down the side with a pin, but not too long (to let out the seed and admit the syrup); as you do them, throw them into a pan of water in which some alum is dissolved, then put them on the fire, and scald them; do not let them boil, lift them out of the pan with a skimmer and lay them on a sieve to drain. Have ready clarified to each pound of berries, two pounds good lump sugar; take the half of the syrup, make it boil, then put in a few of the berries; let them boil a minute, lift them carefully out, put them into pots; proceed to put in a few more berries, and so go through the whole. Then put the syrup through a sieve to keep out the seeds, pour it over the berries in the pots; lay some light thing on the top of each to keep them down amongst the syrup. At the end of five days, pour off the syrup into a pan, and add the other half of the syrup; let it boil, and go through the same operation as before; after putting the syrup through the sieve, pour it into the pots. At the end of ten days repeat the same boiling and potting, and when cold tie them up as directed in raspberries. 

Gooseberries in Imitation of Hops.

   Take the large green walnut kind, cut them at the stalk end into quarters, till within a very little of the blossom end; take out all the seeds with a tea spoon; case them six or eight into one another. Take a strong thread and needle, tie a knot on the end and run it through the bunch, but not too tight; tie the other end, and as you do them lay them into a pan, having the bottom well covered with vine leaves; lay a row of the bunches and then leaves, alternately, till near full; pour on cold water, cover the pan close to prevent the steam escaping; when they are scalding hot, take them off and let them cool. The pan is again set on the fire, and the scalding and cooling repeated until they are a good green colour; when cold, put them in a sieve to drain. Have ready a thin syrup, near cold, into which put the gooseberry hops, and next day give them a boil; the day after do the same, and the third day repeat the boiling. Then take as much more syrup as when added to what they are among, will cover them well, add a few slices of ginger and lemon peel, give all a boil and skim it clean; put in the hops, boil them a few minutes, then put them in glasses, or pots. 

Red, or White Gooseberries.

   For White, take the largest Dutch berries. For Red, the large Mogul berry, before they are fully ripe; clip off the tops, lay them in cold water, stone them, put them in boiling water, but do not let them boil; when very tender, drain them; put them into a pan with their weight of clarified sugar, let them stew gently a short time, so as not to burst them; next day boil up the sugar and pour it over the berries; the third day pour off the sugar, and boil it smooth, pour it over the berries; the fourth day give them a boil till the sugar covers them. Put them in pots, or finish them as ordered in apricots. Or

   Take equal weight of sugar and berries, slit them down the side with a pin, make the sugar into a smooth syrup, аnd put in the berries; let them boil till they are clear, put them into pots with a skimmer; run the syrup through a sieve, boil it up to the consistence of jelly, then pour it on the berries. If red berries, add some juice of red currants, as it heightens the flavour and colour. 

Gooseberry Jam.

   Take the large ironmonger berry before they are ripe, top and tail them. Take equal weight of good Lisbon sugar, put the sugar into a pan, pour over it as much red currant juice as wet the sugar well; let it boil a little, then put in the berries, and keep stirring them gently; boil them till they look clear, and the syrup, when taken out to cool, be a proper stiffness; pot them up, and tie papers over them two days after. They are much used in tarts, &c. If they are not boiled enough they soon ferment and spoil

Red and White Currants, Whole or in Bunches.

   Take of the largest currants, slit them down the side with a needle, and stone them. If to be done in bunches, take five or six sprigs, tie them on a small stick, and to every four pounds currants take five pounds lump sugar, which clarify and boil till it blows; add two pints (mutchkins) currant juice, and put in as many bunches as will cover the bottom of the pan; give them five or six boils, put them in pots, and when cold fill up the pots with apple jelly. If not in bunches, put them in to boil about ten minutes, and pot them. White currants should be done with finer sugar. 

Red and Black Currants, for Tarts, &c.

   Take red, white, or black currants, pick them from their stalks, clip off the heads and tails, particularly from the black; for every pound of currants take a pound of fine raw, or Lisbon sugar, put it into a pan, and wet it either with water, or currant juice. When it boils take it off and skim it clean; let it boil pretty strong, then add the berries; boil them gently till clear, and the consistence of a jelly. Pot them in brown jars, and after two days tie them up with paper. 


   Mulberries are preserved when they are of a reddish green colour, and sour. Take equal weight of sugar and berries, clarify and boil the sugar to the blown degree, put in the mulberries, and give them a covered boiling; that is, till the sugar rises over them in the pan. Set the pan in a hot stove; next day give them another boil, and pot them. Or, the sugar may be wet with the juice, when it boils skim it clean, put in the berries, and boil them till they jelly; then pot them. 

Eringo Roots.

   Parboil the roots, pick, peel, and wash them very clean, then boil them tender, and dry them with a cloth. Put them in a pan with as much clarified sugar as will cover them; boil them softly till they appear clear and the syrup a good thickness, then put them in pots. When used, they are either candied as directed in orange peel, or washed and dried. 


Grows in bunches, which take and put in water; set a pan filled with water on the fire, and when it boils throw in a handful of salt, then put in the samphire. When it appears a fine green take it immediately out with a fork, and lay it on a sieve to drain. Then take equal weight of samphire and sugar, make it into a syrup; put in the samphire, boil it fifteen minutes, lift it out into pots, or glasses, pour the syrup over it, and when cold tie them up. 

   Samphire looks beautiful when rock candied


   If required for tarts, pick the branches clean from the stalks, take equal weight of lump sugar and berries; put them in a jar, which set in a large pan of boiling water till the sugar is melted, and the barberries have become soft; let them stand all night, next day put them in a convenient sized pan, and boil them fifteen minutes. Fill your pots, and when cold tie them up. 

Barberries in Bunches,

May be done as directed for currants. Or, take the largest and best barberries in bunches, take small splits of wood, an inch long, and about one-sixth of an inch thick, and tie four or six sprigs on each split, with a red thread. Take as much syrup as cover them, lay in the bunches and boil them till soft; strain them through a sieve. To every pint (mutchkin) of the juice thus strained, take a pound and a half lump sugar; make it into a fine syrup; and to every pound and a half of sugar put in half a pound of the barberries, boil them till very fine and clear; lift them into pots, or glasses, pour over them the syrup, and when cold tie them up. 


   Walnuts are preserved either white, green, or black

White Walnuts.

Take the largest French kind, when full grown, but not hard; the green shell is all pared off with a knife, until the white appears, and as they are done they are thrown into cold water, or salt and water. The effect of air upon them changes them to black. Boil them till tender, drain them, and lay them into syrup. 

Green Walnuts.

   The walnuts, after being well cleaned with a cloth, are laid for twenty-four hours in a pickle of salt and water, then cleaned and dried, thrown into a pan of boiling water, and let boil a minute or two. They are then taken out and thrown into a pan of boiling syrup, as much as will cover them, which must be in readiness. 

Black Walnuts.

   Take the small sized walnuts, lay them in a pickle a few days, drain them out; expose them to the air in a sieve, and they will grow black. Boil them tender, but not to break; put a clove into the head of each to give them a flavour, and lay them in syrup. Then proceed as follows for all the different kinds. When the walnuts are thus far prepared, make up a smooth syrup; boil up as much as will cover them, with ginger in slices, cinnamon, &c. to give it a rich taste. If you have any syrup left over preserving peaches it may be used. Boil the walnuts in this syrup, and set them past till next day; boil them again and set them past. Repeat this boiling and cooling several times, then boil the syrup smooth, put the walnuts in jars, and pour the syrup over them. They may be done with raw sugar; they are seldom used as a sweetmeat, being medicinal. 


   Split the nectarines, take out the stones, then put them into clarified sugar and boil them; stir them often about, until they have imbibed a good deal of the syrup, and carefully take off any scum; cover and set them past. Next day boil a little more sugar until it blows very strong, put it to the nectarines, give them a good boil; pot or set them past till next day. Drain them from the syrup, lay them out on sieves to dry; dust them with pounded sugar, put them in a hot stove, turn and dust them. When dry pack them up. 

Golden Pippins.

   Take pippins of the largest size, and sound; pare them, and with an apple scoop make a hole through the centre; take as much syrup as will cover them well, let it be thin, that it may penetrate into the apples, add the peel of a few lemons; put in the apples, and let them stew near an hour over a slow fire, then pot them; boil the syrup smooth and pour it over them. They should be examined frequently, and when the syrup grows thin, or inclines to sour, or ferment, boil it up again


   Take pears before they are ripe, put them in a pan with water on the fire, stew them till they are soft, lift them out with a skimmer, and put them in a bason with cold water; cut through the skin in three or four parts, from the top to the stalk, strip it off and put them again in the cold water. Take the weight of the fruit of sugar, clarify and boil it smooth; put in the pears and boil them about ten minutes, or more, take off all the scum; next day boil them up again, and so do for six days, or times. Then lay the pears in pots and boil up the syrup to a proper thickness for keeping; add some cloves and ginger to give it a flavour, pour it over them, and when cold fill up the pots with apple jelly. Red pears are done in the same way, only adding some cochineal to colour them, and filling up the pots with gooseberry jelly. 

Cherries, with their leaves and stalks green.

   Have a small pan with very strong vinegar boiling, into which dip the leaves and stalks; stick them into a split sieve, upright, to remain till dry. In the mean time make some double refined sugar into syrup, boil it to candy, or blown degree; dip in the cherries, stalks and leaves, stick them into the sieves as before, and dry them as other sweetmeats. They look very beautiful by candle light. 

Currants may be prepared for present use thus.

   Oil whites of eggs; by breaking and casting they grow thin like water; dip in the currants upon stalks into the oiled eggs; lay them on sheets of writing paper, sift double refined sugar upon them, turn them and do the same; then lay them before the fire to dry. Send them to table on china dishes. 

Preserving Fruits for Tarts, &c.


   Have the gooseberries ready picked, set a pan on the fire with hard water and some pounded alum; when it boils put a few of the berries in the bottom of a hair sieve and hold them among the boiling water until they turn white, then take them out and spread them between two clean cloths. Put more gooseberries in the sieve and do them until you have in this manner gone through them all; set the water past in a jar, and next day fill your bottles with the gooseberries, picking out the broken and spilt ones; fill them up with the water, cork them loosely for a fortnight, and if they rise up to the corks draw them out and let them stand open a few days, then cork them properly, and they will keep good several months. Or

   Pick them of the largest kind and dry, fill and cork the bottles, set them in a kettle of water up to the neck, let the water boil slowly until they appear coddled, take out these bottles and put in more, which do in like manner. Then dip them into melted wax over the necks, and keep them in a dry place. 

Plumbs for Tarts.

   Take a narrow, deep jar, weigh the fruit, take half their weight, or a little more, of raw sugar; put a layer of sugar and a layer of fruit till near the top, tie it up with strong paper, and set it in a baker’s oven when not too warm; let it remain an hour or so according to the size of the jars. 

Orange and Lemon Grate, for Puddings.

   Mix it with pounded lump sugar, press it hard into a jelly pot, then cover it with a bladder. Or, first Or first grate the oranges, or lemons, boil the skins and beat them smooth into a mortar; clarify to each pound of the beaten skins and grate, a pound of lump sugar, boil it smooth; then put in the skins, boil them in the sugar till very thick, then add the grate; pot it, and when cold tie it up. 

Red Gooseberries,

May be preserved for tarts by taking for each pint gooseberries, half a pound raw sugar, and mixing it with two gills of water; let the sugar boil and then put in the gooseberries; boil them softly a few minutes, put them into small jars, and cover them up when cold. They make fine tarts, or pies, with the addition of a little sugar. Or, press the pulp through a sieve, and add to each pint, (mutchkin) four ounces raw sugar; boil it well, and use it when cold for tarts, or puffs. 

To keep Grapes, Gooseberries, Apricots, Plumbs, Peaches, Nectarines, Cherries, &c. the whole year.

   Take fine dry sand, that has very little saltness in it, make it as dry as possible with often exposing it to the sun; gather the fruit when just ripening, or near ripe, dip the ends of the stalks in melted pitch, or bees wax. Have ready a large box, with a close lid, dry the fruit a little in the sun, to absorb all superfluous moisture; begin by laying a course of sand in the bottom of the box, then a layer of fruit, not to touch each other; then a layer of sand, an inch thick, smooth over them, then fruit alternately, until the box is full; keep them in a cool place. 

Figs and Stoned Fruits.

   Put the fruit in regular rows, alternately with their leaves, in an earthen pot; then boil up water and honey as long as any scum arises, which take off, only do not boil it thick; pour it over the fruit warm, and stop the vessel close. When you take any out for use lay them two hours in warm water. 

Strawberries, Rasps, Currants, &c.

   Take new stone bottles, dry them by the fire; dry the fruit from any moisture to prevent sweating; take off the stalks, bottle them near the fire so that the heat may draw out as much air as possible, and cork them quickly; tie down the corks with wire, dip them in wax, then pack them in a moderate cool place with sand, laying them sideways. 


May be kept by putting them with their stalks into a dry jar, with a narrow mouth, close corked and waxed over; then suspended into a very deep well, not to touch the water or sides; or bury them in the earth four feet deep. 

12 thoughts on “Chap. V. – Preserving, pp.48-74.

  1. Jenny, I hope you are well.
    I saw there are a couple of films at image archive at NLS, about making sweets, Ref/1752, and making chocolates, ref/0498. Might be worth a watch.

    Also re your land reform posts, I have a book called, ‘Highland Experiment, (by James Grassie) the story of the Highland and Islands Development board’, printed by Aberdeen uni press in 1983. Seems hard to get hold of though? I am trying to work my way through it, but there is quite a bit about ‘Land’ you might be interested in. The sheer hypocrisy, and very costly vanity projects which mainly did not materialise into anything worthwhile, is appalling, and definitely a ‘story’.

    There were good intentions on the part of some folk involved, but mostly as far as I can gather, the ideas put forward which might have meant effective and positive development for the actual people living and working in the Highlands and Islands were stymied. I wonder who then put the pressure on to put the kybosh on those wishing to make progress in addressing the inequality in land ownership, and the wanton legalised thieving of Scotland’s land. Some dodgy practices went on for sure, and it’s a disgrace to this day.

    Anyway it might be worth your trying to get hold of a copy? It’s 150 pages, packed full of just how Scotland was scammed out of having control of their land, lochs and resources.

    All the best

    1. That’s awesome, love – I’ll check in on the sweet making & see if there are any copies of ‘Highland Experiment’ available, thanks for the heads’ up xx

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