This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
The amount of sugar used in making the sirup for preserves may vary with the tastes of the individual. About three-fourths pound of sugar and three-fourths cup of water to one pound of fruit is used for most fruits. For gooseberries and very tart fruits, a pound to pound proportion of sugar is required. Dissolve the sugar in the water and boil the sirup for five or ten minutes, according to the sweetness desired. If a very rich preserve is to be made, boil sirup until it spins a thread (230° F.), before adding the fruit.
2 pounds sour cherries, weighed after stoning
1 1/2 pounds sugar
Add the sugar to the stoned cherries and bring them quickly to the boiling-point. Cook rapidly until the fruit is clear, skimming as necessary. Pour at once into clean hot jars and seal.
4 pounds fresh figs 2 pounds sugar
1 cup water 1 lemon
Wash and peel the figs. Slice the lemon. Boil the sugar and water together for ten minutes, then add the figs and lemon. Cook rapidly until the fruit is clear. Seal in clean hot jars.
1 pound green gooseberries
1 1/4 pounds sugar
Stem the berries, remove the blossom end, and wash the fruit in cold water. Half cover the gooseberries with water and scald the fruit until the skins are soft. Add the sugar to the hot mixture. Bring quickly to the boiling-point and cook until clear. Seal at once in clean hot jars.
4 pounds Concord grapes 1/2 cup water to each pound fruit
1/2 pound of sugar for each pound of prepared fruit
Wash the grapes and press the pulp from the skins. (They are extra nice if seeded.) Boil the sugar and water ten minutes. Add the fruit and cook until the grapes are clear and the sirup is thick. Pour into hot clean jars and seal.
3/4 pound sugar to each pound of fruit
Place the plums in a wire basket, immerse the basket in boiling water, and when the skins crack and loosen remove the plums from the water and peel them. Place a layer of the fruit in a large earthen jar, sprinkle it with some of the sugar, add another layer of fruit, and one of sugar, and when all is used set the jar aside until the next morning. In the morning, draw off the juice that has formed. Boil it for ten minutes, skimming it as the scum rises. Add the fruit, and cook rapidly until the plums are clear and tender. Skim out the fruit, place on a large platter, and boil the sirup until it coats a spoon, draining into the kettle all that drains from the fruit on the platter. When thick enough, return the fruit to the sirup and bring to a boil. Pour into clean hot jars and seal.
3/4 pound sugar and 3/4 cup of water to each pound of prepared fruit
Cling-stone peaches are better than free-stone, for they keep their shape better. Wash, peel, and remove the stones if desired. If the stones are to be removed, cut the peaches in quarters. Boil the sugar and water for ten minutes. Skim, add the fruit and cook rapidly until it is transparent. Seal in clean hot jars.