We would particularly invite the attention of the reader to these wholesome and agreeable preparations of fruit, which are much less served at English tables, generally, than they deserve to be. We have found them often peculiarly acceptable to persons of delicate habit who were forbidden to partake of pastry in any form; and accompanied by a dish of boiled ride, they are very preferable for children, as well as for invalids, to either tarts or puddings.
(Rhubarb.) Take a pound of the stalks after they are pared, and cut them into short lengths, have ready a quarter-pint of water boiled gently for ten minutes with five ounces of sugar, or with six should the fruit be very acid; put it in, and simmer it for about ten minutes. Some kinds will be tender in rather less time, some Will require more.
Good sugar in lumps should be used generally for these dishes and when they are intended for dessert the syrup should be enriched with an additional ounce or two. Lisbon sugar will answer for them very well on ordinary occasions, but that which is refined will render them much more delicate.
Spring water half pint; sugar five ounces; boiled together ten minutes. One pint of green currants strip ped from the stalks; simmered three to five minutes.
This is an excellent compote if made with fine sugar, and very good with any kind. Break five ounces into small lumps and pour on them half a pint of water; boil these gently for ten minutes, and clear off all the scum; then add to them a pint of fresh gooseberries freed from the tops and stalks, washed, and well drained. Simmer them gently from eight to ten minutes, and serve them hot or cold. Increase the quantity for a large dish.
Wipe the down from a pound of quite young apricots, and stew them very gently for nearly twenty minutes in syrup made with eight ounces of sugar and three quarters of a pint of water, boiled together the usual time.
A quarter-pint of water and five ounces of sugar: ten minutes. One pint of ready picked currants to be just simmered in the syrup from five to six minutes. This receipt will serve equally for raspberries, or for a compote of the two fruits mixed together. Either of them will be found an admirable accompaniment to batter, custard, bread, ground rice, and various other kinds of puddings, as well as to whole rice plainly boiled.
Simmer five ounces of sugar with half a pint of water for ten minutes; throw into the syrup a pound of cherries weighed after they are stalked, and let them stew gently for twenty minutes; it is a great improvement to stone the fruit, but a larger quantity will then be required for a dish.
Boil together for fifteen minutes, five ounces of sugar with half a pint of water; add a pound and a quarter of ripe Morella cherries, and simmer them very softly from five to seven minutes; this is a delicious compote.
Four ounces of sugar and half a pint of water to be boiled for ten minutes; one pound of damsons to be added, and simmered gently from ten to twelve minutes.
Boil six ounces of sugar with half a pint of water the usual time; take the stalks from a pound of plums, and simmer them very softly for twenty minutes. Increase the proportion of sugar if needed, and regulate the time as may be necessary for the different varieties of fruit
The large, or shepherds' bullace, is very good stewed, but will require a considerable quantity of sugar to render it palatable, unless it be quite ripe. Make a syrup with eight ounces, and three-quarters of a pint of Water, and boil in it gently from fifteen to twenty minutes, a pint and a half of the bullaces freed from their stalks.
Pare half a dozen ripe peaches, and stew them very softly from eighteen to twenty minutes, keeping them often turned in a light syrup, made with five ounces of sugar, and half a pint of water boiled together for ten minutes. Dish the fruit; reduce the syrup by quick boiling, pour it over the peaches, and serve them hot for a second-course dish, or cold for dessert. They should be quite ripe, and will be found delicious dressed thus. A little lemon-juice may be added to the syrup, and the blanched kernels of two or three peach or apricot stones.
Sugar, 5 ozs.; water, 1/2 pint: 10 minutes. Peaches, 6: 18 to 20 minutes.
Nectarines, without being pared, may be dressed in the same way, but will require to be stewed somewhat longer, unless they be perfectly ripe.