Take the finest barberries, without stones, that can be procured, tie them together in bunches of four or five sprigs, and for each half pound of the fruit (which is extremely light), boil one pound of very good sugar in a pint of water for twenty minutes, and clear it well from scum; throw in the fruit let it heat gently, and then boil from five to seven minutes, when it will be perfectly transparent. So long as any snapping noise is heard, the fruit is not at all done; it should be pressed equally down into the syrup until the whole of the berries have burst; it should then be turned into jars, which must be covered with skin, or with two or three folds of thick paper, as soon as the preserve is perfectly cold. The barberries thus prepared make a beautiful garnish for sweet dishes, or for custard puddings.
Barberries, tied in bunches, 1 1/2 lb. Sugar, 3 lbs.; water, 1 1/2 pint: 20 minutes. Barberries boiled in syrup, 5 to 7 minutes.
To each pound of barberries, stripped from the stalks, put a pint and a half of cold water, and boil them for fifteen minutes; bruise them with the back of a wooden spoon, pour them into a hair-sieve or muslin strainer, and pass the juice afterwards through a jelly-bag. When it appears perfectly clear, weigh and then boil it fast for ten minutes; take it from the fire, and stir into it as many pounds of sugar in fine powder as there were pounds of juice; when this is dissolved, boil the jelly again for ten minutes, skim it carefully, and pour it into jars or glasses: if into the latter, warm them previously, or the boiling jelly may cause them to break.
Barberries, 3 lbs.; water, 4 1/2 pints: 15 minutes. Juice alone: 10 minutes. To each pound of juice 1 lb. of sugar: 10 minutes.
(A good Receipt.) The barberries for this preserve should be quite ripe, though they should not be allowed to hang until they begin to decay. Strip them from the stalks, throw aside such as are spotted, and for each pound of the fruit allow eighteen ounces of well-refined sugar; boil this, with one pint of water to every four pounds, until it becomes white, and falls in thick masses from the spoon; then throw in the fruit, and keep it stirred over a brisk fire for six minutes only; take off the scum, and pour it into jars or glasses.
Sugar, 4 1/2 lbs.; water, 1 1/4 pint, boiled to candy height. Barberries, 4 lbs.: 6 minutes.
(Second Receipt.) The preceeding is an excellent receipt, but the preserve will be very good if eighteen ounces of pounded sugar be mixed and boiled with the fruit for ten minutes; and this is done at a small expense of time and trouble.
Sugar pounded, 2 1/4 lbs.; fruit, 2 lbs.: boiled 10 minutes.
Weigh the fruit after it has been stripped from the stalks, and boil it for ten minutes over a moderate fire, keeping it stirred all the time; then add to it an equal weight of good Lisbon sugar, and boil the preserve for five minutes.
Barberries, 3 lbs.: 10 minutes. Lisbon sugar, 3 lbs.: 5 minutes.
The small barberry, without stones, must be used for the foregoing receipts, but for those which follow either sort will answer.
Strip the fruit from the stems, wash it in spring-water, drain, bruise it slightly, and put it into a clean stone jar, with no more liquid than the drops which hang about it. Place the jar in a pan of water, and steam the fruit until is quite tender: this will be in from thirty minutes to an hour. Pour off the clear juice, strain, weigh, and boil it fast from five to seven minutes, with eighteen ounces of sugar to every pound. For the marmalade, press the barberries through a sieve with a wooden spoon, and boil them quickly for the same time, and with the same proportion of sugar as the jelly.
Barberries boiled in water-bath until tender; to each pound of juice, 1 lb. 2 ozs. sugar: 5 minutes. Pulp of fruit, to each pound, 18 ozs. sugar: 5 minutes.
We have always had these preserves made with very ripe fruit, and have found them extremely good; but more sugar may be needed to sweeten them sufficiently when the barberries have hung less time upon the trees.