To be eaten at their raw best they should be kept in the icebox until needed. Then they may be served with their stems still on in a glass bowl with fragments of ice scattered among them.
Use large, firm cherries for this dish. Have in front of you a soup-plate containing the whites of three eggs mixed with five tablespoonfuls of cold water, another plate filled with sifted powdered sugar at your right, the bowl of cherries at your left. Dip each cherry in the water and white of egg, turn it over and over in the sugar and lay on a chilled platter to dry. When all are done sift more powdered sugar over the fruit and arrange carefully on a glass dish.
Select firm, sweet cherries from which the stems have not been removed. Into a perfectly clean porcelain-lined saucepan put a pound of granulated sugar and a gill of cold water, and boil to a syrup. Do not stir during the process of cooking. Try the syrup occasionally by dropping a little in cold water. When it changes to a brittle candy it is done. Remove the saucepan at once from the fire and set it in a pan of boiling water. Dip each cherry quickly in the hot syrup and lay on a waxed paper to dry. If the syrup shows signs of becoming too thick, add more boiling water to that in the outside pan. When all the cherries have been "dipped" stand them in a warm place to dry.
Cut the top from a pineapple and carefully remove the inside, so that the shell may not be broken. Cut the pulp into bits, mix it with the pulp of three ripe oranges, also cut very small, and liberally sweeten the mixture. Smooth off the bottom of the pineapple shell so that it will stand upright, refill with the fruit pulp, put on the tip and set in the ice for three hours.
Lay large, ripe free-stone peaches on the ice for several hours, peel, cut them in half and remove the stones. Whip half a pint of cream light, with two tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar. Fill the hollows left by the stones to heaping with the whipped cream. Keep in the ice-box until time to serve the fruit.
Cut grapefruit in half and remove the tough fiber and part of the pulp. Chop this pulp and add it to mashed and sweetened strawberries. Refill the grapefruit rinds with the mixture, and set on the ice for an hour or two.
Cap the berries, one at a time, using the tips of your fingers. The practice of holding capped berries in the hollow of the hand until one has as many as the space will accommodate, is unclean and unappetizing. Cap them deftly and quickly, letting each fall into a chilled bowl, and do this just before serving, keeping in a cool place until they are ready to go to table. Pass powdered sugar and cream, also ice-cold, with them.
Follow the directions given in last recipe.
Select sweet, ripe pears and lay them in the ice for two hours. Do not peel until just before they are needed. Pare deftly and quickly, slice, sprinkle with sugar, cover with cream and serve.
Bananas are very good treated as the pears were in the last recipe. It is a good plan to bury these in the ice until wanted for dessert. Then the hostess may, at the table, quickly peel and slice them into different saucers. Bananas thus prepared do not have time to become discolored from exposure to the air.