Fruits, flowers, and leaves are preserved by means of sugar cooked to the crystal or the soft ball stage. When permeated by syrup they may be kept for a long time. A few recipes are given, and others may be easily formulated with different fruits and petals.
Crystallized Mint Leaves Wipe fresh mint leaves, remove from stems, and brush each leaf with white of egg, beaten until stiff. Dip in one third cup granulated sugar flavored with five drops oil of spearmint. Place closely together on a cake rack covered with wax paper, and let stand in a slow oven until dry. If the leaves are not thoroughly coated, the process may be repeated.
Crystallized Rose Petals Remove fresh rose petals from stem, coat each one with white of egg slightly beaten, dip in granulated sugar, and place on a plate sprinkled with sugar. Sift sugar lightly over petals, and place in warm room near stove until dry. If petals are not thoroughly coated, the process may be repeated.
Take specked or Bartlett pears which have not begun to ripen, and pare them, leaving the stems on. Prick in several places, cover with cold water, and add a crystal of burnt alum for each two pears. Bring to boiling point, and cook gently until they are tender, being careful that they do not go to pieces. Put pears in cold water, changing it several times until pears look clear.
Make syrup by boiling two cups sugar and one cup water five minutes, then cool.
Drain pears, cover with cold syrup, and leave for twenty-four hours. Drain syrup from pears, add one cup sugar, bring to boiling point, cool, and pour over pears. Again let stand for twenty-four hours, drain syrup, add one cup sugar, bring to boiling point, and pour over the pears while hot.
Again let stand for twenty-four hours, drain off syrup, and cook until it spins a long thread. Add pears, let them boil for one minute, and return both fruit and syrup to the crock for another twenty-four hours. Drain syrup, cook to 2280 F., add pears, let them boil once, remove from syrup, let fruit dry, and it is ready for use.
Â½ cup sugar
Â½ cup water
Â½ cup cranberries
Select firm, red cranberries, wash, dry, and prick two or three times with needle. Boil sugar and water until it spins a thread, put in cranberries, and cook gently until syrup will jelly when tested from tip of spoon. Remove berries, one at a time, to wax paper, and let stand in the air until well dried. Roll in granulated sugar, and use like candied cherries.
Candied Grapefruit Peel
Wash and wipe three thick skinned grapefruit, and remove the peel in six sections lengthwise of fruit. Soak overnight in one quart of cold water to which is added one tablespoon salt. Drain, put in saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to boiling point; repeat this process three times, cooking in the last water until peel is soft and tender. Drain, and cut with scissors into thin narrow strips. Weigh the peel. Put an equal weight of sugar into a saucepan, add half a cup of water, bring syrup to boiling point, add the peel, and cook until it is clear. Remove each piece separately, drain, and place on a plate to cool, then roll each piece in powdered sugar, and spread out to dry. When well dried, store in glass jars.
Candied Orange Peel
Remove the peel in lengthwise sections from four oranges, cover with cold water, bring to the boiling point, and cook slowly until soft and tender. Drain, remove the fibrous inside portion, and with the scissors cut peel in thin narrow strips. In a saucepan put one cup of sugar and half a cup of water, and boil until syrup will spin a thread when allowed to drip from the tip of a spoon. Put strips of orange peel into the syrup, and cook until clear. Remove to plate, let stand until cool, and roll in granulated sugar.
Remove peel from several oranges, cover peel with cold water, and leave for three days, changing the water daily. Put in hot water, and boil until soft, drain, wipe dry with cheesecloth, chop fine, and measure. Take an equal amount of sugar, and for each one third cup of sugar add two tablespoons each of water and butter, and boil until it will spin a thread. Add chopped peel, boil until it forms a firm ball when tried in cold water, cool, put on a board, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and shape into small balls.
These may be rolled in coarse sugar, and allowed to dry or they may be dipped in fondant flavored with vanilla. They are delicious dipped in chocolate, with a few grains of orange sugar sprinkled on the top of each chocolate before it hardens.
Rub the entire surface of blocks of sugar over the rind of oranges that have been washed and wiped dry. Crush the blocks of orange sugar with a rolling pin, and force through a coarse strainer.
Use lemons, and follow directions for making Orange Sugar.
1 pound French chestnuts I teaspoon butter ⅓ cup lemon juice
Cold water 2 cups sugar 2 cups water
I teaspoon vanilla
Cut a half-inch gash on flat side of chestnuts, and put in frying pan with butter. Shake over fire until butter is melted. Put in hot oven and let stand five minutes. Remove from oven, and with a small knife take off shells and skins. Cover chestnuts with cold water, add lemon juice, and soak overnight. Drain, cover with boiling water, simmer gently until tender, and drain.
Put sugar and water in saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved, boil five minutes, add vanilla and chestnuts, and keep hot without boiling for two hours. Drain syrup from nuts, boil until it spins a long thread, pour over the nuts, and leave overnight. Repeat. Again drain, add one teaspoon corn syrup, and boil to 238° F., or until syrup spins a thread. Add chestnuts, and allow syrup to boil up once over the nuts. Remove from fire, stir gently until syrup begins to grain, and remove chestnuts quickly to buttered tin. Serve in paper cases.
If any chestnuts should break in pieces, they may be used as centers for Chocolate Matrons