Wednesday, June 8, 2011

To preserve green Plums

The greatest Wheaten Plum is the best, which will be ripe in the midst of _July_, gather them about that time, or later, as they grow in bigness, but you must not suffer them to turn yellow, for then they never be of good colour; being gathered, lay them in water for the space of twelve hours, and when you gather them, wipe them with a clean linnen cloth, and cut off a little of the stalks of every one, then set two skillets of water on the fire, and when one is scalding hot put in your Plums, and take them from the fire, and cover them, and let them rest for the space of a quarter of an hour; then take them up, and when your other skillet of water doth boil, put them into it; let them but stay in it a very little while, and so let the other skillet of water, wherein they were first boiled, be set to the fire again, and make it to boil, and put in your Plums as before, and then you shall see them rivet over, and yet your Plums very whole; then while they be hot, you must with your knife scrape away the riveting; then take to every pound of Plums a pound and two ounces of Sugar finely beaten, then set a pan with a little fair water on the fire, and when it boils, put in your Plums, and let them settle half a quarter of an hour till you see the colour wax green, then set them off the fire a quarter of an hour, and take a handful of Sugar that is weighed, and strow it in the bottom of the pan wherein you will preserve, and so put in your Plums one by one, drawing the liquor from them, and cast the rest of your Sugar on them; then set the pan on a moderate fire, letting them boil continually but very softly, and in three quarters of an hour they will be ready, as you may perceive by the greenness of your Plums, and thickness of your syrup, which if they be boiled enough, will gelly when it is cold; then take up your Plums, and put them into a Gallipot, but boil your Syrup a little longer, then strain it into some vessel, and being blood-warm, pour it upon your plums, but stop not the pot before they be cold. Note also you must preserve them in such a pan, as they may lye one by another, and turn of themselves; and when they have been five or six days in the syrup, that the syrup grow thin, you may boil it again with a little Sugar, but put it not to your Plums till they be cold. They must have three scaldings, and one boiling.

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