Take the largest and finest green gages, quite ripe. Prick every one with a needle in several places. Spread fresh grape-leaves over the bottom, and round the sides of a preserving kettle. Put in a layer of green gages and a layer of grape-vine leaves, alternately, adding to each layer a bit of alum but little larger than a grain of indian corn. Cover the last layer of fruit thickly with vine-leaves; fill up the kettle with cold water, and place it over a moderate fire. Sum-mer the fruit slowly, but do not let it break. When the gages are hot all through, take them out, and throw them in to cold water. Afterwards weigh them; and to every pound of fruit, allow a pound of the best double-refined loaf-sugar, powdered. Remove the vine-leaves from the preserving-kettle, and put into it the sugar, with barely sufficient water to keep it from burning. Stir the sugar well with the water till it is dissolved, adding to every three pounds the beaten white of an egg. Place the kettle over the fire, and boil and skim till very clear, and the scum ceases to rise. Then take it off, measure it, and to every pint of syrup allow a large half-pint of the best and clearest brandy. Mix the syrup and brandy together. Having well drained the green gages from the cold water, put them (two-thirds full) into glass jars. Fill the jars up to the top with the liquor, poured on warm. Cover them closely, pasting paper over the lids, and set them in a dry, cool closet.
If the gages are not green enough with the first simmering, get fresh vine-leaves, and simmer them again very slowly, hanging the kettle high.
Instead of vine-leaves, you may green any preserves by boiling them with layers of the green husks that surround the ears of young radian corn.
For this purpose the grapes should be in large close bunches, and quite ripe. Remove every grape that is the least shrivelled, or in any way defective. With a needie prick each grape in three places. Have ready a sufficiency of double-refined loaf-sugar, powdered and sifted. Put some of the sugar into the bottom of your jars. Then put in a bunch of grapes, and cover it thickly with sugar. Then another bunch; then more sugar, and so on till the jar is nearly full; finishing with a layer of sugar. Then fill up to the top with the best white brandy. Cover the jars as closely as possible, and set them away. They must not go over the fire. The grapes should be of the best quality, either white or purple.
Take large close bunches of fine ripe thin-skinned grapes, and remove any that are imperfect. Tie a string in a loop to the top of the stem. Strain into a deep dish a sufficient quantity of white of egg. Dip the bunches of grapes into it, immersing them thoroughly. Then drain them, and roll them about in a flat dish of finely-powdered loaf-sugar till they are completely coated with it, using your fingers to spread the sugar into the hollows between the grapes. Hang up the bunches by the strings till the icing is entirely dry. They should be dried in a warm place. Send them to the supper-table at a party, on glass dishes.
Ripe currants may be iced as above. Raspberries, strawberries, ripe gooseberries, plums and cherries, may be thus dipped in white of egg, and rolled in sugar.