Take limes, or small lemons that are quite ripe, and all about the same size. With a sharp penknife scoop a hole at the stalk end of each, and loosen the pulp all around the inside, taking care not to break or cut through the rind. In doing this, hold the lime over a bowl, and having extracted all the pulp and juice, (saving them in the bowl,) boil the empty limes half an hour or more in alum-water, till the rinds look clear and nearly transparent. Then drain them, and lay them for several hours in cold water, changing the water nearly every hour. At night, having changed the water once more, let the limes remain in it till next day, by which time all taste of the alum should be removed; but if it is not, give them a boil in some weak ginger tea. If you wish them very green, line the sides and bottom of a preserving-kettle with fresh vine-leaves, placed very thickly, put in the limes, and pour on as much clear cold water as will cover them, (spring or pump-water is best,) and fill up with a very thick layer of vine-leaves. Boil them slowly an hour or more. If they are not sufficiently green, repeat the process with fresh vine-leaves and fresh water. They must boil till a twig can pierce them.
After the limes have been greened, give the kettle a com plete washing; or take another and proceed to make the syrup. Having weighed the limes, allow to every pound of them a pound of the best double refined loaf-sugar, and half a pint of very clear water. Break up the sugar and put it into the kettle. Then pour on to it the water, which must previously be mixed with some beaten white of egg, allowing the white of one egg to three pounds of sugar. Let the sugar dissolve in the water before you set it over the lire, stirring it well. Boil and skim the sugar, and when the scum ceases to rise, put in the limes, adding the juice that was saved from them, and which must first be strained from the pulp, seeds, etc. Boil the limes in the syrup till they are very tender and transparent. Then take them out carefully, and spread them on flat dishes. Put the syrup into a tureen, and leave it uncovered for two days.
In the mean time prepare a jelly for filling the limes. Get several dozen of fine ripe lemons. Roll them under your hand on the table, to increase the juice; cut them in half, and squeeze them through a strainer into a pitcher. To each pint of the juice allow a pound and a quarter of the best double refined loaf-sugar. Put the sugar, mixed with the lemon-juice, into a preserving-kettle, and when they are melted set it over the fire, and boil and skim it till it becomes a thick, firm jelly, which it should in twenty minutes. Try if it will congeal by taking out a little in a spoon, and placing it in the open air. If it congeals immediately, it is sufficiently done. If boiled too long it will liquefy, and will not congeal again without the assistance of isinglass. When the jelly is done, put it at once into a large bowl, and leave it uncovered.
The lemon-jelly, the syrup and the limes, being thoroughly done, and all grown cold, finish by filling the limes with the jelly; putting them, with the open part downwards, into wide-mouthed glass jars, and gently pouring on them the syrup. Cover the jars closely, and paste strong paper over the covers. Or seal the corks.
Very small, thin-skinned, ripe oranges, preserved in this manner, and filled with orange-jelly, are delicious.
If, instead of having it liquid, you wish the syrup to crystal lize or candy round the fruit, put no water to the sugar, but boil it slowly a long time, with the juice only, clarified by beaten white of egg mixed with the sugar in the proportion of one white to three pounds.
Before squeezing out the juice of the lemons intended to make the jelly, it will be well to pare off very thin the yellow rind; cut it into bits, and put it into a bottle of white wine or brandy, where it will keep soft and fresh, and the infusion will make a fine flavouring for cakes, puddings, etc. The rind of lemons should never be thrown away, as it is useful for so many nice purposes. Apple-sauce and apple-pies should always be fla-voured with lemon-peel.