Take damsons when not too ripe; pick off the stalks, and put them into wide-mouthed glass bottles, taking care not to put in any but what are whole, and without blemish; shake them well down (otherwise the bottles will not be half full when done); stop the bottles with new soft corks, not too tight; set them into a very slow oven (nearly cold) tour or five hours; the slower they are done the better; when they begin to sin ink in the bottles, it is a sure sign that the fruit is thoroughly warm: take them out, and before they are cold, drive in the corks quite tight; set them in a bottle-rack or basket, with the mouth downwards, and they will keep good several years.
Green gooseberries, morello cherries, currants, green gages, or bullace, may be done the same way,
If the corks are good, and fit well, there will be no occasion for cementing then; but should bungs be used, it will be necessary.
Pare your apricots, and stone what you can whole, then give them a light boiling in water proportioned to the quantity of fruit, only just enough; then take the weight of the apricots in sugar, and take the liquor in which they have boiled, and the sugar, and boil it till it comes to a sirup, and give them a light boiling, taking off the scum as it rises. When the sirup jellies it is enough; then take up the apricots and cover them with the jelly; put cut paper over them, and lay them down when cold.
Gather the currants upon a dry day; to every pound allow half a pint of red currant juice, and a pound and a half of finely-pounded loaf sugar. With scissors clip off the heads and stalks; put the juice, sugar, and currants into a preserving pan; shake it frequently till it boils; carefully remove the fruit from the sides of the pan, and take off the scum as it rises; let it boil for ten or fifteen minutes. This preserve may be eaten with cream, and made into tarts.
To a pound of cherries allow three-quarters of a pound of pounded loaf sugar; carefully stone them, and as they are done, strew part of the sugar over them; boil them fast, with the remainder of the sugar, till the fruit is clear and the sirup thick; take off the scum as it rises. Or they may be boiled ten minutes in an equal quantity of sugar, which has been previously clarified and boiled candy high. Part of the kernels may be added.
Put into a saucepan of boiling water fresh gathered and fresh-shelled peas, but not very young; as soon as they boil up, pour off the water, and put them upon a large dry cloth folded, and then upon another, that they may be perfectly dry without being bruised; let them lie some time before the fire, and then put them into small paper bags, each containing about a pint, and hang them up in the kitchen. Before using, soak them for two or three hours in water, and then boil them as directed for green peas, adding a little bit of butter, when they are put on to boil.
Put the plums into boiling water, pare off the skin, and divide them; take an equal quantity of pounded loaf sugar, strew half of it over the fruit; let it remain some hours, and, with the remainder of the sugar, put it into a preserving pan; boil till the plums look quite clear, take off the scum as it rises, and a few minutes before taking them off the fire, add the kernels.