The flavors of dried fruits are more natural and delicate with prolonged soaking and short (if any) cooking. Choice dried apples and apricots are especially enjoyable soaked over night or longer without any cooking. The juice from them makes an exceedingly refreshing drink.
Pour boiling water over fruit that requires washing to more perfectly loosen the dirt, then quickly add cold water. Wash thoroughly, cover with warm water and let stand for from 12 to 48 hrs. When perfectly swollen and soft, add sugar, if it is to be used, bring to the boiling point quickly and remove from the fire. These directions if followed will cause apples, apricots and peaches to seem almost like fresh stewed fruit.
A few fresh grapes stewed with peaches give them a nice flavor.
Raisins also (previously cooked) are nice with dried peaches.
The most delightful combination with dried apples is 1/3 prunelles. Raisins are also nice with apples.
1/2 lb. apricots, 3 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar
Follow general directions.
These require no sugar but will bear a little longer cooking than peaches and apricots.
Cook prunes with a small amount of water and rub through colander. This removes the skins or breaks them up so that many can take them who otherwise could not. Served with almonds, beaten white of egg or almond or whipped cream, the marmalade makes a nice dessert.
Soak large prunes in a very little water, stirring occasionally so that all will be moistened. Steam 3/4 of an hour. Cover as soon as removed from the steamer. Serve warm for breakfast. They may be steamed an hour without soaking.
Wash, soak, cook until tender, reduce liquor to syrup and pour over fruit. Serve with wafers or nuts or with whipped cream flavored with vanilla or almond.
Wash figs and steam 25-35 m. according to dryness. Long steaming gives them a strong flavor. Cover, and serve warm. The figs may be soaked the same as prunes before steaming.
Stew together 1 1/2 lb. prunes and 1 lb. of dried apricots, no sugar. Rub through colander and cook to the consistency of butter.