Strip the stalks from a gallon or two of the large kind of bullaces called the shepherd's bullace; give part of them a cut, put them into stone jars, and throw into one of them a pound or two of imperatrice plums, if they can be obtained; put the jars into pans of water, and boil them as directed at page 332; then drain off the juice, pass it through a thick strainer or jelly-bag, and weigh it; boil it quickly from fifteen to twenty minutes; take it from the fire, and stir in it till dissolved, three-quarters of a pound of sugar to the pound of juice; remove the scum with care, and boil the preserve again quickly from eight to twelve minutes, or longer should it not then jelly firmly on the skimmer. When the fruit is very acid, an equal weight of juice and sugar may be mixed together in the first instance, and boiled briskly for about twenty minutes. It is impossible to indicate the precise time which the jelly will require, so much depends on the quality of the plums, and on the degree of boiling previously given to them in the water-bath When properly made, it is remarkably transparent and very firm. It should be poured into shallow pans or small moulds, and turned from thorn before it is served.
When the imperatrice plum cannot be procured, any other that will give a pale red colour to the juice will answer. The bullaces alone make an admirable preserve; and even the commoner kind afford an excellent one.
Juice of the shepherd's bullace and imperatrice, or other red plum, 4 lbs.: 15 to 20 minutes. Sugar, 3 lbs.: 8 to 12 minutes. Or juice of bullaces and sugar, equal weight: 20 minutes.
After the juice has been poured from the plums they may be stoned, pared, weighed, and boiled to a paste; then sir ounces of sugar added to the pound, and the boiling continued until the preserve is again very dry: a small portion of the juice should be left with the fruit for this.