This section is from the book "The Professed Cook: Or, The Modern Art Of Cookery, Pastry, And Confectionary", by B. Clermont. Also available from Amazon: The professed cook.
TheRE are but few sorts of Plumbs in England that will bear boiling. Green Gages are in the first perfection for this purpose, though neither they, nor any others must be thoroughly ripe for it; also the Mirabel Plumb, and a few others, mostly of foreign appellation: Boil them a little while in raw Sugar and a little Water, according to their ripeness; skim it when cooling with bits of paper, and reduce the Syrup according as you propose to keep them; if for present use, it is sufficient to make a good palatable Syrup: Serve hot or cold. The best method for preserving is to prick them in several places, and scald them in boxing Water until they rise on the surface; take them off the Fire, and let them cool in the same Water; cover the Pan, and put them on a slow Fire, which will bring them back to their proper colour; then drain them into cold Water, and boil them a Moment in Sugar au petit Lisse, (first degree;) leave them in the Sugar till the next day, and boil them a little more: When prepared after this manner, they will keep a long while. - Such sorts of Plumbs as will not bear boiling without breaking to a Marmalade, are only to be prepared for present use, and are soon done; scald them a moment in boiling Water; then boil them in Sugar and a little Water, and skim them in the same manner.
Prick the Chestnuts in several places with the point of a Knife, to hinder them from cracking and flying out; broil them in Ashes, take off the Husks, simmer them some time in clarified Sugar, and add a Seville Orange-squeeze; when taken off the Fire, squeeze them a little before boiling in the Sugar, by which means they will take the Sugar the better: Do them gently, for fear they should crumble, and let them be in the Syrup a day or two, or more, before using.
They are served as Compotes without any other preparation than peeling; slice them, and serve with cold light Syrup, or Powder Sugar over them; You may also serve them whole, peeled or not; prick them with a Knife in several places,. and stuff as much Sugar in every one as they will admit; the Lemon is served after the same manner, using Sugar in proportion to its sharpness.
Compote of bits of Rinds of the same. They are made with the Rinds of China or Seville Oranges; the first called Orange douce, the second Begarade; and Lemons in the same manner; peel them pretty thin, soak them in Water some time, and boil them in fresh Water till they are tender, which is known by their yielding to the touch; then pour them into cold Water a moment, drain them, and boil a little while in clarified Sugar; take them off the Fire, let them soak in the Sugar some hours, and boil again to bring the Syrup to a proper consistence.
Cut Lemons into quarters, take out all the fleshy part to the thick Rind, and boil them after the same manner as before: For these sorts of Compotes, clarify the same weight of Sugar as Fruit. - Both sorts of Oranges and Lemons are done after this manner, either whole, in halves, or quarters. Observe to soak them a long while in several Waters before boiling, which draws the bitterness out of the Rinds, and makes them much more tender.