FRUIT ICES.—Express the juice from a pint of stoned red cherries, add the juice of two lemons, one cup of sugar and a quart of cold water. Stir well for five minutes, an freeze in an ice cream freezer. Equal parts currant and red raspberry juice may be used instead of cherry, if preferred.
This method of preserving fruit, except in large establishments where it is dried by steam, is but little used, since canning is quicker and superior in every way. Success in drying fruits is dependent upon the quickness with which, they can be dried, without subjecting them to so violent a heat as to burn them or injure their flavor.
Pulpy fruits, such as berries, cherries, plums, etc., should be spread on some convenient flat surface without contact with each other, and dried in the sun under glass, or in a moderate oven. They should be turned daily. They will dry more quickly if first scalded in a hot oven. Cherries should be first stoned and cooked until well heated through and tender, then spread on plates, and the juice (boiled down to a syrup) poured over them. When dried, they will be moist. Pack in jars. Large fruit, such as apples, pears, and peaches, should be pared, divided, and the seeds or stones removed. If one has but a small quantity, the best plan is to dry by mean of artificial heat; setting it first in a hot oven until heated through, which process starts the juice and forms a film or crust over the cut surfaces, thus holding the remaining: quantity of juice inside until it becomes absorbed in the tissues. The drying process may be finished in a warming oven or some place about the range where the fruit will get only moderate heat. If a larger quantity of fruit is to be dried, after being heated in the oven, it may be placed in the hot sun out of doors, under fine wire screens, to keep off the flies; or may be suspended for the ceiling in some way, or placed upon a frame made to stand directly over the stove. As the drying proceeds, the fruit should be turned occasionally, and when dry enough, it should be thoroughly heated before it is packed away, to prevent it from getting wormy.
The nuts, or shell fruits, as they are sometimes termed, form a class of food differing greatly from the succulent fruits. They are more properly seeds, containing, in general, no starch, but are rich in fat and nitrogenous elements in the form of vegetable albumen and casein. In composition, the nuts rank high in nutritive value, but owing to the oily matter which they contain, are difficult of digestion, unless reduced to a very minutely divided state before or during mastication. The fat of nuts is similar in character to cream, and needs to be reduced to the consistency of cream to be easily digested. Those nuts, such as almonds, filberts, and pecans, which do not contain an excess of fat, are the most wholesome. Nuts should be eaten, in moderation, at the regular mealtime, and not partaken of as a tidbit between meals. It is likewise well to eat them in connection with some hard food, to insure their thorough mastication. Almonds and cream crisps thus used make a pleasing combination.