Take apricots which have attained their full growth and colour, but before they begin to soften; weigh, and wipe them lightly; make a small incision across the top of each plum, pass the point of a knife through the stalk end, and gently push out the stones without breaking the fruit; next, put the apricots into a preserving-pan, with sufficient cold water to float them easily; place it over a moderate fire, and when it begins to boil, should the apricots be quite tender, lift them out and throw them into more cold water, but simmer them, otherwise, until they are so. Take the same weight of sugar that there was of the fruit before it was stoned, and boil it for ten minutes with
Obs.—The syrup should be quite thick when the apricots are put in for the last time; but both fruit and sugar vary so much in quality and in the degree of boiling which they require, that no invariable rule can be given for the latter. The apricot syrup strained very clear, and mixed with twice its measure of pale French brandy, makes an agreeable liqueur, which is much improved by infusing in it for a few days half
We have found that cherries prepared by either of the receipts which we have given for preserving them with sugar, if thrown into the apricot syrup when partially dried, just scalded in it, and left for a fortnight, then drained and dried as usual, become a delicious sweetmeat. Mussel, imperatrice, or any other plums, when quite ripe, if simmered in it very gently until they are tender, and left for a few days to imbibe its flavour, then drained and finished as usual, are likewise excellent.