Take the largest and finest free-stone peaches, before they are too ripe. Pare them, and cut them in halves or in quarters. Crack the stones, and take out the kernels, and break them in pieces. Put the peaches, with the parings and kernels, into your preserving kettle, with a very little water. Boil them till they are tender. Take out the peaches and spread them on a large dish to cool. Strain the liquor through a bag or sieve. Next day, measure the juice, and to each pint allow a pound of loaf-sugar. Put the juice and sugar into the kettle with the peaches, and boil them slowly half an hour, or till they are quite soft, skimming all the time. Take the peaches out, put them into your jars, and pour the warm liquor over them. When cold, tie them up with brandy paper.
* The use of brass or bell metal kettles is now almost entirely superseded by the enamelled kettles of iron lined with china, called preserving kettles; brass and bell-metal hav ing always been objectionable on account of the verdigris which collects in them.
If boiled too long, they will look dull, and be of a dark color.*
If you do not wish the juice to be very thick, do not put it on to boil with the sugar, but first boil the sugar alone, with only as much water as will dissolve it, and skim it well. Let the sugar, in all cases, be entirely melted before it goes on the fire. Having boiled the sugar and water, and skimmed it to a clear sirup, then put in your juice and fruit together, and boil them till completely penetrated with the sugar.
Take large juicy ripe free-stone peaches, pare them and cut them in quarters. Crack half the stones, and blanch the kernels in scalding water. Weigh the peaches, and to each pound allow a pound of loaf-sugar. Mix them with the kernels, lay them in a deep dish, or tureen, and mix with them also the sugar. Cover them and let them set all night.
In the morning put the peaches and sugar with the kernels into a preserving kettle, and boil them till soft and clear; skimming them carefully. Use no water, as the juice that has been drawn out while they lay in the sugar will be sufficient.
When cold, put them in jars and tie them up with brandy-paper, leaving the kernels among them.
Green gages and plums may be done in this manner when quite ripe, using also half the kernels.
* To preserve peaches whole, pare them and thrust out the stones with a skewer. Then proceed as above, only blanch the kernels and keep them whole. When the peaches are done, stick a kernel into the hole of every peach, before you put them into the jars. Large fruit will keep best in broad shallow stone pots.