The first step in the preparation of fruit is to wash it thoroughly; small fruit, such as berries, should be placed in a shallow colander and dipped repeatedly into one or more pans of clean cold water, then shaken and drained. Do this before hulling or stemming, to prevent loss of juice.
When stoning large or small fruit place the stones in a sieve and let any juice that has been retained drip out. In cases requiring a certain amount of water, cook the stones in this water long enough to draw out the juice, as it is desirable to obtain all the fruit juice that adheres to stones.
Currants and cherries are easily stripped from the stems, but gooseberries are more tedious to handle. Small scissors are best, and if berries are canned or used for jam or preserves, each stem and little blossom end must be clipped. When fruit is run through a bag, as for jelly, this is not necessary.
When paring fruit it is best to use a silver or plated knife. Apples, being hard, are easiest pared with a sharp steel knife.
Fruit that can be skinned, such as peaches, or plums, must be scalded with boiling water, then plunged immediately into cold water. This prevents fruit from becoming too soft, and the skin can be slipped off readily.