This section is from the book "The Epicurean", by Charles Ranhofer. Also available from Amazon: The Epicurean, a Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art.
Apricots, green almonds, greengages, mirabelles, cherries, and in fact all preserved fruits, must first be washed in hot water to remove the sugar adhering to them, then drain and leave to dry properly. After these fruits are very dry arrange them in a single layer, one beside the other, in a candy pan having a grate on the bottom; when this first grate is full lay another one on top and till it the same as the other, and continue thus until they reach to slightly below the edges of the candy pan. Cover the last layer of fruits with another grate, and cm it lay a weight to keep the fruits submerged in the syrup. Now cook a sufficient quantity of sugar to thirty four degrees to cover the whole of the fruit and pour it over as soon as done; put these fruits in a hot closet and leave without disturbing for twelve hours; at the end of that time drain the fruits from this syrup, lay them on dry grates and leave till very dry. A good way to judge of the thickness of the layers of candy is to put small pieces of wood reaching above the edges of the candy pan into the corners at the same time as the fruits.
After a few hours take out one of these pieces of wood, drain it well and see whether it be covered with a sufficiently thick layer of candy; if the layer attached to this piece of wood be the desired thickness then certainly the fruit should be covered the same, and if not thick enough then leave the fruits in the closet for a longer time. After the lapse of a short time draw out another one of the sticks and observe it the same as the first, and continue this operation until the candy be of the desired thickness; then drain off the fruits and dry them the same as described above.
Choose fine, sound Sickle pears in preference to others; peel them round, suppress the cores with a small vegetable spoon, and lay them at once in cold water; drain from this and blanch, taking them out one by one as soon as they rise on the surface of the boiling liquid and throw them into a panful of cold water to refresh. Drain immediately; put them into a boiling syrup at twelve degrees, leave in a cool place for twelve hours; drain the syrup, adding a little sugar to bring to fourteen degrees, pour it over the pears, and the next day draw this off, add a little sugar to bring the syrup to sixteen degrees, and continue the process daily, each time augmenting the syrup two degrees until it has reached thirty degrees; now drain off this syrup from the pears, boil it up by itself once or twice, and when it attains thirty-two degrees put in the fruit; give it one more boil and transfer the whole to jars to cool. As soon as cold close hermetically and leave in a cool, dry place.
To coat preserved fruits with grained sugar proceed the same as for fruits with candy. Cook some sugar to " thread " (No. 171), take from the fire and with a wooden spoon spread a layer on the sides of the pan in which it has been cooked and rub it on for a few seconds with the spoon. As soon as this rubbed sugar begins to whiten mix it with the remainder of the sugar, then dip in the fruits, using a fork, and range them at once on a grate, leaving them till the sugar be dry.
For preserved fruits that have to be coated with caramel, proceed first by washing them in hot water, drain and cut them into halves or quarters, or leave whole, according to necessity and to the nature of the fruits, then stick them on wires pierced into a cork and leave them to dry. When ready, cook some sugar to "large crack " (No. 171 ). or three hundred and forty degrees. As soon as it has attained this heat take it at once from the fire and dip in the fruits, then lay them on a marble to drain and cool; when nearly cold pull out the wires.
Peel and separate in sections, leave to dry, then dip them in the sugar, using a pair of pastry pincers, and then lay them one by one on a slightly greased marble.
Take them off their stalks and dip them the same way as the oranges. These fruits are used for decorating pyramids and for cases of iced fruits.