Put two pounds of the best white sugar, with one pint of fresh, clear water, into a white porcelain saucepan; put it on the fire, and before the sirup becomes hot mix well into it the partly beaten white of an egg. When it begins to boil, remove the scum as it rises; watch it constantly that it does not boil over; and continue to boil it until no more scum rises.
Now peach, pear, greengage, Siberian crab-apple, and cherry preserves are all made in the same manner. The peaches are neatly peeled, stoned, and halved. The pears are peeled, cored, and cut into two. The greengage makes a prettier preserve without being skinned - pricking them, and halving the stem. The French preserve greengages in this manner. Some think the skins of plums are tough in preserves, and throw them into boiling water to skin them. The Siberian crab-apple, which makes a very good preserve, is cored with a small tin tube or corer (see page 57). Half of the stem is cut from cherries. When the sirup is gently boiling, a few pieces are put into it at one time. They are boiled until they become just soft. Do not allow them to break. When the pieces are done, take them carefully out, and put more into the sirup until all are cooked; pour the sirup over, and put them into jars.
Many add a little juice of lemon to pear, crab-apple, and plum preserves. I would recommend a very little. In the case of peaches, more flavor is gained by boiling the pits, if they are cling-stone (which they should be - the White Heath being the best preserving peach), and after straining the water using it to make the sirup. They will be firmer by laying the uncooked peaches into the sirup, and letting them remain in it overnight, cooking them the next morning. Others harden fruit by letting it remain ten or fifteen minutes in alum-water. This impairs the flavor. However, for good, clear preserves, I prefer the first method of preserving them, using the pits for the water with which to make peach marmalade. Peach marmalade and peach preserves should be made at the same time, when the peaches of less pretentious appearance can be used for the marmalade. Boil preserves without a cover to the kettle.