Cut into small pieces and remove the membrane. Sprinkle with flour, and chop in a cold place to prevent its becoming soft and sticky.
Put them in a squash strainer, and sprinkle thickly with flour. Rub them well until they are separated, and the flour, grit, and fine stems have passed through the strainer. Then place the strainer and currants in a pan of water, and wash thoroughly. Lift the strainer and currants together, and change the water till clear. Drain between towels, and pick over carefully. Dry them in a sunny place or between towels, but do not harden them by putting them into the oven.
Pour boiling water over them, and let them stand in it five or ten minutes. Drain, and rub each raisin between the thumb and finger till the seeds come out clean, then cut or tear apart, or chop, if wanted very fine.
Core Apples before paring, and there is less danger of their breaking.
Wring strong cotton cloth out of boiling water, and spread over a bowl. Sprinkle with flour, fill with the pudding, draw the cloth together, and tie tightly, then flour near the opening. Plunge into boiling water, and keep the water boiling during the time for cooking. Add boiling water as needed, and replenish the fire often.
Meringues should be put on puddings after they are slightly cool, as, if the pudding be hot, the egg will liquefy.
Moulds should be greased for any steamed mixture; wet in cold water for jelly, creams, etc.; and neither wet nor greased if to be lined with cake. A mould of jelly will cool quicker if placed in a pan of ice water or snow than in the ice-chest.
Boil one cup of granulated sugar and one cup of boiling water together for half an hour. Then dip the point of a skewer into the syrup and then into cold water. If the thread formed break off brittle, the syrup is ready. The syrup must never be stirred, and must boil slowly, not furiously. When done, set the saucepan in boiling water, or pour the syrup into a bowl placed in hot water, to keep the syrup from candying. Take the prepared fruit or nuts on the point of a large needle or fine skewer, dip them into the syrup, and then lay them on a dish, which has been lightly buttered or oiled; or string them on a thread, and after dipping in the syrup suspend them by the thread. When oranges are used, divide them into eighths, and wipe all moisture. Cherries should be stoned. English walnuts are especially nice prepared in this way.
Remove the shells, cover with boiling water, and let them stand till the dark skin will rub off easily. Then put them in cold water, rub off the skins, and dry between towels.