FRUITS are usually at their best when served ripe and in season; however, a few cannot be taken in their raw state, and still others are rendered more easy of digestion by cooking. The methods employed are stewing and baking. Fruit should be cooked in earthen or granite ware utensils, and silver or wooden spoons should be employed for stirring. It must be remembered that all fruits contain one or more acids, and when exposed to air and brought in contact with an iron or tin surface, a poisonous compound may be formed.
2. Pick over selected strawberries, place in colander, pour over cold water, and drain thoroughly. Press powdered sugar into cordial glasses. Remove from glasses on centres of fruit plates. Arrange twelve berries around each mound of sugar. Berries served in this way should not be hulled.
How to Prepare Cantaloupes and Muskmelons for Serving
Canteloupes and muskmelons should be very ripe and thoroughly chilled in ice box before being prepared for serving. Wipe melons,if small, cut in halves lengthwise; if larger, cut in sections, and remove seeds and stringy portion. If one-half is served as a portion, put in cavity one tablespoon crushed ice. Serve with salt or powdered sugar.
Put bunches in colander and pour over cold water, drain, chill, and arrange on serving dish. Imperfect grapes, as well as those under-ripe or over-ripe, should be removed. Garnish with grape leaves, if at hand.
2. Peel an orange and remove as much of the white portion as possible. Remove pulp by sections, which may be accomplished by using a sharp knife and cutting pulp from tough portion first on one side of section, then on the other. Should there be any white portion of skin remaining on pulp it should be cut off. Arrange sections on glass dish or fruit plate. If the orange is a seeded one, remove seeds.
Wipe grape fruit and cut in halves crosswise. With a small, sharp-pointed knife make a cut separating pulp from skin around entire circumference; then make cuts separating pulp from tough portion which divides fruit into sections. Remove tough portion in one piece, which may be accomplished by one cutting with scissors at stem or blossom end close to skin. Sprinkle fruit pulp left in grape fruit skin generously with sugar. Let stand ten minutes, and serve very cold. Place on fruit plate and garnish with a candied cherry.
Remove pulp from grape fruit, and mix with shredded pineapple, bananas cut in slices and slices cut in quarters, and strawberries cut in halves, using half as much pineapple and banana as grape fruit, and allowing four strawberries to each serve. There should be two cups fruit. Pour over a dressing made of one-third cup Sherry wine, three tablespoons apricot brandy, one-half cup sugar, and a few grains salt. Chill thoroughly, serve in double cocktail glasses, and garnish with candied cherries and leaves.
Wipe and core sour apples. Put in a baking-dish, and fill cavities with sugar and spice. Allow one-half cup sugar and one-fourth teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg to eight apples. If nutmeg is used, a few drops lemon juice and few gratings from rind of lemon to each apple is an improvement. Cover bottom of dish with boiling water, and bake in a hot oven until soft, basting often with syrup in dish. Serve hot or cold with cream. Many prefer to pare apples before baking. When this is done, core before paring, that fruit may keep in shape. In the fall, when apples are at their best, do not add spices to apples, as their flavor cannot be improved; but towards spring they become somewhat tasteless, and spice is an improvement.
Wipe and core eight sweet apples. Put in a baking-dish, and fill cavities with sugar, allowing one-third cup, or sweeten with molasses. Add two-thirds cup boiling water. Cover, and bake three hours in a slow oven, adding more water if necessary.
Wipe, quarter, core, and pare eight sour apples. Make a syrup by boiling seven minutes one cup sugar and one cup water with thin shaving from rind of a lemon. Remove lemon, add enough apples to cover bottom of saucepan, watch carefully during cooking, and remove as soon as soft. Continue until all are cooked. Strain remaining syrup over apples.
Wipe, quarter, core, and pare eight sour apples. Put in a saucepan, sprinkle with one cup sugar, add eight cloves, and enough water to prevent apples from burning. Cook to a mush, stirring occasionally.
Wipe, quarter, core, pare, and chop sour apples; there should be two and one-half pounds. Put in a stewpan and add one and one-half pounds light brown sugar, juice and rind of one and one-half lemons, one-half ounce ginger root, a few grains salt, and enough water to prevent apples from burning. Cover, and cook slowly four hours, adding water as necessary. Apple Ginger may be kept for several weeks.
Make a syrup by boiling eight minutes one and one half cups sugar and one and one-half cups water. Wipe, core, and pare eight apples. Put apples in syrup as soon as pared, that they may not discolor. Cook until soft, occasionally skimming syrup during cooking. Apples cook better covered with the syrup; therefore it is better to use a deep saucepan and have two cookings. Drain apples from syrup, cool, fill cavities with jelly, marmalade, or preserved fruit, and stick apples with almonds blanched and split in halves lengthwise. Serve with Cream Sauce I.
Remove skins from six bananas and cut in halves lengthwise. Put in a shallow granite pan or on an old platter. Mix two tablespoons melted butter, one-third cup sugar, and two tablespoons lemon juice. Baste bananas with one-half the mixture. Bake twenty minutes in a slow oven, basting during baking with remaining mixture.
Peel, cut in halves, and remove stones from six peaches. Place in a shallow granite pan. Fill each cavity with one teaspoon sugar, one-half teaspoon butter, few drops lemon juice, and a slight grating nutmeg. Cook twenty minutes, and serve on circular pieces of buttered dry toast.
Wipe, quarter, and core pears. Put in a deep puddingdish, sprinkle with sugar or add a small quantity of molasses, then add water to prevent pears from burning. Cover, and cook two or three hours in a very slow oven. Small pears may be baked whole. Seckel pears are delicious when baked.
Wipe, quarter, core, and pare eight quinces. Put in a baking dish, sprinkle with three-fourths cup sugar, add one and one-half cups water, cover, and cook until soft in a slow oven. Quinces require a long time for cooking.
Pick over and wash three cups cranberries. Put in a stewpan, add one and one-fourth cups sugar and one cup boiling water, and boil ten minutes. Care must be taken that they do not boil over. Skim and cool.
Pick over and wash four cups cranberries. Put in a stewpan with two cups boiling water, and boil twenty minutes. Rub through a sieve, add two cups sugar, and cook five minutes. Turn into a mould or glasses.
Wash and pick over prunes. Put in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and soak two hours; then cook until soft in same water. When nearly cooked, add sugar or molasses to sweeten. Many prefer the addition of a small quantity of lemon juice.
Peel and cut rhubarb in one-inch pieces. Put in a saucepan, sprinkle generously with sugar, and add enough water to prevent rhubarb from burning. Rhubarb contains such a large percentage of water that but little additional water is needed. Cook until soft. If rhubarb is covered with boiling water, allowed to stand five minutes, then drained and cooked, less sugar will be required. Rhubarb is sometimes baked in an earthen pudding-dish. If baked slowly for a long time it has a rich red color.