Cooked fruit may be served at any meal. It is one of the best and most wholesome of desserts.

Fruit loses some of its sweetness in cooking. All fruits, except the sweetest, require, when stewed, the addition of sugar. Figs and prunes are so sweet that a little lemon juice improves them.

Directions For Stewing Fruit

Cut pears, apples, or quinces in pieces. Slice or shred pineapples. Cook small fruits whole. Put into a saucepan half as much water as you have fruit. Add for each pint of fruit one-fourth to one-half cupful of sugar, according to the acidity of the fruit. When the sugar and water boil, put in the fruit. If enough juice does not flow to make the syrup cover the fruit, add boiling water until it does. When the fruit is soft, but not mushy, taste it; add more sugar if needed; stir until this dissolves; then take out the fruit. If the syrup is watery, boil it down before pouring it over the fruit. Fruit not quite ripe, or hard fruit such as quince, should be cooked in clear water till soft, and then sweetened.

Apple Sauce

Prepare sour apples, as for stewing. Put them into a saucepan with enough water to keep them from burning. Cook till the apples are very soft. Stir or beat to make the sauce smooth. Add one cupful of sugar to six or eight apples. If the apples lack flavor, cook an inch of stick cinnamon or five or six cloves with them.

Baked Apples

Wash and core large, sound, tart apples; put them into an earthen or enamelled baking-dish. Put one tablespoon-ful of brown sugar into each cavity, and pour boiling water into the dish, one-half cupful for each eight apples. Bake until soft, frequently dipping over the apples the syrup that forms in the pan. Serve cold with cream or milk. If the apples are thick-skinned, pare them after coring, that they may not be broken by knife or corer. If they lack flavor, add a little lemon juice and cinnamon to the sugar - one teaspoonful of lemon juice and one-fourth teaspoonful of cinnamon to one-fourth cupful of sugar.

Apples may be pared before baking and served in the dish in which they were cooked.

Pears, quartered, are baked or stewed like apples.

Baked Bananas

1. Choose sound, ripe bananas; cut about three-fourths of an inch off each end, and bake in an earthen or enamelled baking-dish for thirty minutes. Slit open the skin and eat the banana, which should be sweet and juicy, with a fork or spoon.

2. Remove bananas from skins, lay in a baking-dish, sprinkle with granulated sugar, and pour a little cold water into the dish. Bake in a hot oven until tender. Serve for breakfast or, with Lemon Sauce, for dessert. (For Lemon Sauce, see p. 282.)

Cranberry Jelly

Cranberries, 1 qt.

Water, 2 c.

Sugar, 1 lb.

Pick over and wash the cranberries, cook them slowly with the water for about fifteen minutes, and press through a strainer. Return to the fire, and add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved. Boil without stirring five minutes longer, pour into a mould, and let it stand until firm enough to turn out. Serve with poultry, mutton, or game.