The Jewish Manual/Chapter VIII
Preserving and Bottling.
Attention and a little practice will ensure excellence in such preserves as are in general use in private families; and it will always be found a more economical plan to purchase the more rare and uncommon articles of preserved fruits than to have them made at home.
The more sugar that is added to fruit the less boiling it requires.
If jellies be over-boiled, much of the sugar will become candied, and leave the jelly thin.
Every thing used for the purpose of preserving should be clean and very dry, particularly bottles for bottled fruit.
Fruit should boil rapidly before the sugar is added, and quietly afterwards—when preserves seem likely to become mouldy, it is generally a sign they have not been sufficiently boiled, and it will be requisite to boil them up again—fruit for bottling should not be too ripe, and should be perfectly fresh; there are various methods adopted by different cooks: the fruit may be placed in the bottles, and set in a moderate oven until considerably shrunken, when the bottles should be removed and closely corked; or the bottles may be set in a pan with cold water up to the necks, placed over the fire; when the fruit begins to sink remove them, and when cold fill up each bottle with cold spring water, cork the bottles, and lay them on their sides in a dry place.
To bottle red currants—pick them carefully from the stalk, and add, as the currants are put in, sifted white sugar; let the bottles be well filled and rosin the corks, and keep them with their necks downwards.
Put into a large wide mouthed bottle very ripe black cherries, add to them two pounds of loaf sugar, a quart of brandy, and a few cloves, then bruise a few more cherries, and simmer with sugar, strain and add the juice to the cherries in the bottle, cork closely, and keep in a warm dry place.
Peel, cut into quarters, and core two pounds of sharp apples, and the same quantity of quinces; put them into a jar, with one pound of white sugar powdered and sprinkled over them; cover them with half a pint of water, and put in also a little bruised cochineal tied in a muslin. Set them in a slack oven till tender, take out the cochineal, and pulp the fruit to a marmalade.
Some cooks prefer boiling the sugar and water first and scalding the fruit till tender, and then adding them to the syrup.
Is made in the same manner as quince, as also apricot marmalade, which is very fine; the fruit must be stoned, and some of the kernels put in with the fruit, which are peeled, and apricots are cut in pieces; they should be carefully pulped through a clean sieve.
Halve and pare ripe apricots, or if not quite ripe, boil them till the skin can easily be removed. Lay them in a dish hollow downwards, sift over them their own weight of white sugar, let them lay for some hours, then put the fruit, with the sugar and juice into a preserving pan, and simmer till the fruit is clear, take it out, put it carefully into pots, and pour over the syrup.
This receipt will serve as a guide for preserved nectarines, peaches, plums, gages, &c. A few of the kernels should always be put in with the fruit, as they improve the flavor of the preserve.
STRAWBERRIES PRESERVED WHOLE.
Weigh an equal quantity of fruit and white sugar powdered, sift all the sugar over the fruit, so that half of it shall equally be covered, let it lay till the next day, when boil the remainder with red currant juice, in which simmer the strawberries until the jelly hangs about them. Put the strawberries into pots, taking care not to break them, and pour over the syrup.
This receipt will serve for raspberries and cherries, which make a fine preserve.
Bruise gently, with the back of a wooden spoon, six pounds of fine fresh fruit, and boil them with very little water for twenty minutes, stirring until the fruit and juice are well mixed; then put in powdered loaf sugar of equal weight to the fruit, and simmer half an hour longer. If the preserve is not required to be very rich, half the weight of sugar in proportion to the quantity of fruit may be used; but more boiling will be requisite. By this recipe also are made raspberry, currant, gooseberry, apricot, and other jams.
RED CURRANT JELLY.
Strip carefully from the stems some quite ripe currants, put them into a preserving pan, stir them gently over a clear fire until the juice flows freely from them, then squeeze the currants and strain the juice through a folded muslin or jelly bag; pour it into a preserving pan, adding, as it boils, white sugar, in the proportion of one pound of sugar to one pint of juice.
If made with less sugar, more boiling will be required, by which much juice and flavour are lost. A little dissolved isinglass is used by confectioners, but it is much better without. Jams and jellies should be poured into pots when in a boiling state.
Jellies should be continually skimmed till the scum ceases to rise, so that they may be clear and fine. White currant jelly and black are made in the same manner as red. By this receipt can be made raspberry jelly, strawberry jelly, and all other kinds.
Pare, core, and cut small any kind of fine baking apples—say six pounds in weight; put them in a preserving pan with one quart of water; boil gently till the apples are very soft and broken, then pass the juice through a jelly bag; when, to each pint, add half a pound of loaf sugar, set it on the fire to boil twenty minutes, skimming it as the scum rises; it must not be over boiled, or the colour will be too dark.
PEAR-SYRUP OR JELLY.
This preparation, although little known in England, forms an important article of economy in many parts of the Continent. The pears are first heated in a saucepan over the fire until the pulp, skins, &c., have separated from the juice, which is then strained, and boiled with coarse brown sugar to the thickness of treacle; but it has a far more agreeable flavour. It is cheaper than butter or treacle, and is excellent spread upon bread for children.
This is a useful and cheap preserve. Choose the large long black plum; to each gallon of which add three pounds of good moist sugar; bake them till they begin to crack, when, put them in pots, of a size for once using, as the air is apt to spoil the jam.