Pare and core a dozen tart, juicy apples. Put them into a saucepan with just enough cold water to cover them. Cook slowly until they are tender and clear. Then remove the apples to a bowl, and cover to keep hot; put the juice into a saucepan with a cupful of sugar, and boil for half an hour. Season with mace or nutmeg. Pour hot over the apples and set away covered until cold. Eat with cream.
Wash and core, but do not pare them. Arrange in a deep pudding-dish; put a teaspoonful of sugar and the tiniest imaginable bit of salt into the cavities left by coring; pour in a half cupful of water for a large dishful of apples; cover closely and bake in a good oven forty minutes or until soft.
Eat ice-cold, with cream and sugar.
Wash dried prunes and soak them for at least five hours in cold water. Put them into a saucepan with enough water to cover them and simmer very gently for twenty minutes. Now add sufficient granulated sugar to sweeten liberally, and simmer until the prunes are tender. Take from the fire and set aside to cool. Eat with plain cake.
Soak as directed above. Place them in a covered roaster and steam steadily for two hours. Make a syrup in a separate vessel with the water left from the soaking. This recipe is especially suited to those who desire but little sugar in prunes, as but little sweetness can be added to the prunes in steaming.
Never boil prunes, as the flavor is thereby injured. When cooked as directed, if the syrup is not heavy enough to suit, remove the prunes from the syrup and boil the syrup down to the required consistency.
Prunelles are more than subacid, and need the modifying influence of sweeter fruits. Allow equal parts of prunelles and of the small sultana raisins. Wash the fruit in tepid water, and soak it in enough cold water to cover it for several hours, on the back of the range. Draw them forward where they will simmer gently until soft. Add sugar to taste, let the syrup boil up once, then set away to cool.
The prejudice against the dried apple of commerce is pronounced, and founded upon traditions we should have outlived. The kiln-dried fruit of to-day is a respectable edible and capable of excellent results. It is especially good if mixed with equal parts of dried peaches, soaked for three hours in just enough tepid water to cover the fruit (having been first washed);then put over the fire with the water in which they were soaked, and simmer tender. Rub through a colander, add sugar, cinnamon and cloves to taste, and let the mixture get perfectly cold.
None of our small fruits are more injured by transportation than these same luscious and ruddy lobes. If you must buy cherries which are brought from a distance and are, of necessity several days old, cook them if you regard the welfare of the digestive organs of your family. The verse that tells us "cherries are ripe" would be more reassuring if it also informed us that they were recently picked.
Wash and pick over carefully; put over the fire in a "safe" saucepan, such as I have already indicated, with just enough water to prevent burning, cover closely and stew until soft, but not broken. Strain off the liquor; set aside the cherries in a covered bowl, add three tablespoonfuls of sugar to each pint of the juice, return to the fire; boil fast for half an hour and pour over the fruit. Keep covered until cold.