‘A Lady’, on Making Paste of Plumbs

Take tender Plumbs, as many as you please, put them into an Earthen-pot, and put that Pot into a Pot of Boiling Water, but let no Water come at the Plumbs; and when they begin to dissolve, press out the thinner Part from them through a fine Cloth, then strain the Pulp through a fine Canvas; take as much Sugar as it weighs, and put to it as much Water as will melt it, so boil it to a Candy-height; then , having boiled the Pulp very well, put that and the Sugar hot together; so boil them with stirring, and lay them out to dry on Plates in what Form you please. And thus you make Paste of Cherries, Raspberries, Currans, and indeed of most pleasant Fruits and Flowers, and by making them somewhat thinner they will be a fine Marmalade: Or this, by only putting them in the Syrrup without Mashing, they may be preserved.

Anon (‘A Lady’), The Whole Duty of a Woman, Or A Guide to the Female Sex, From the Age of Sixteen to Sixty, etc. 3rd Edition (1701)

This recipe for what seems to be a form of sweetened, shaped fruit leather (or jam candies?) comes from a collection of recipes (or ‘receipts’) that was appended to a volume of moral values and ‘vertues’ (dating back to at least 1698, when the title was advertised in one of John Bunyan’s books) that women ought to aspire to at various stages of their adult life. That is, according to the author: ‘A Lady’ (although something leads me to suspect that this might not necessarily be the case…)

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