Take the stalks from the fruit, and throw aside all that is not perfectly sound; put it into very clean, large stone jars, and give part of the harder kinds, such as bullaces and damsons, a gash with a knife as they are thrown in; do this especially in filling the upper part of the jars. Tie one or two folds of thick paper over them, and set them for the night into an oven from which the bread has been drawn four or five hours; or cover them with bladder, instead of paper, place them in deep pans of water, and boil them gently from two to three hours, or until the fruit is quite soft, and has yielded all the juice it will afford: this last is the safer and better mode for jellies of delicate colour.
Put a basin into one scale, and its weight into the other; add to this last the weight which is required of the juice, and pour into the basin as much as will balance the scales. It is always better to weigh than to measure the juice for preserving, as it can generally be done with more exactness.
Take the stones from a couple of pounds of cherries, and boil them twenty minutes; then add to them a pound and a half of raspberries, and an equal quantity of red and of white currants, all weighed after they have been cleared from their stems. Boil these together briskly for twenty minutes; mix with them three pounds and a quarter of common sugar, and give the preserve fifteen minutes more of quick boiling. A pound and a half of blackberries may be substituted for the cherries; but they will not require any stewing before they are added to the other fruits. The jam must be well stirred from the beginning, or it will burn to the pan.
Cherries, 2 lbs.: 20 minutes. Raspberries, red currants, and white currants, of each 1 1/2 lb.: 20 minutes. Sugar, 3 1/4 lbs.: 15 minutes.
Boil together, in equal or in unequal portions (for this is immaterial), any kinds of early fruit, till they can be pressed through a sieve; weigh, and then boil the pulp over a brisk fire for half an hour; add half a pound of sugar for each pound of fruit, and again boil the preserve quickly, keeping it well stirred and skimmed, from fifteen to twenty minutes. Cherries, unless they be morellas, must be first stewed tender apart, as they will require a much longer time to make them so than other of the first summer fruits.
Boil for three quarters of an hour, in two pounds of clear red currant juice, one pound of very ripe greengages, weighed after they have been pared and stoned; then stir to them one pound and a half of good sugar and boil them quickly again for twenty minutes. If the quantity of preserve he much increased, the time of boiling it must be so likewise: this is always better done before the sugar is added.
Juice of ripe currants, 2 lbs.; greengages, pared and stoned, 1 lb.: 3/4 hour. Sugar, 1 1/2 lb.: 20 minutes.
When the plums are thoroughly ripe, take off the skins, weigh, and boil them quickly without sugar for fifty minutes, keeping them well stirred; then to every four pounds add three of good sugar reduced quite to powder, boil the preserve from five to eight minutes longer, and clear off the scum perfectly before it is poured into the jars. When the flesh of the fruit will not separate easily from the stones, weigh and throw the plums whole into the preserving-pan, boil them to a pulp, pass them through a sieve, and deduct the weight of the stones from them when apportioning the sugar to the jam. The Orleans plum may be substituted for greengages, in this receipt.
Greengages, stoned and skinned, 6 lbs.: 50 minutes. Sugar, 4 1/2 lbs.; 5 to 8 minutes.