Method

Prepare good strong kegs and steam them thoroughly with black currant leaves. Gather good, ripe fruit. Pears and bergamots should be freshly picked, but apples must have lain on straw for 2 weeks. Pack the fruit into the kegs, sprinkling each layer with a mixture of black currant leaves, tarragon, savory, and marjoram. Place a thicker layer [of herbs] on the bottom and on top. Boil up a brine using 5 lbs honey or 7 lbs sugar, 1 lb salt, and ½ garnets good vinegar for each pail of water. Bring to a boil, cool, and pour over the fruit. Set aside some of the prepared brine, so that as the brine evaporates, the kegs may be refilled to the same level. To assure that the fruit is always covered by brine, place a round wooden plank on top with a stone.* Serve with meats.

*A similar method of marinating was used in Roman times and was recommended by Apicius for preserving hard-skinned peaches. (Edwards, The Roman Cookery of Apicius, 11)

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