“Slice a Pound of Codlins or Pippins into a Pint of clear Spring Water ; let them boil till the Liquor takes all the Taste of the Fruit ; then strain it out, and to a Pint of this Liquor take a Pound of double-refined Sugar, boil’d to Sugar again ; then put in your Codlin Liquor, boil it a little together, as fast as you can ; then put in your Golden Pippins, boil them up fast for a little while ; just before the last boiling, squeeze the Juice of a Lemon ; boil it up quick one more ; take great Care they do not lose Colour. Take the Pippins out, and put them in to the Glasses with the Jelly. This is the most grateful (graceful?) Way that ever was invented to preserve them.“
M. L. Lemery, The Complete Family-Piece and Country Gentleman and Farmer’s Best Guide (1737)
This turned out to be a slightly confusing recipe for what ought to be a very simple procedure – making apple jelly – that tends to be assumed as basic knowledge in numerous other recipes; you’ll often come across something along the lines of “make a codlin jelly” or “preserve the cooked fruit in pippin jelly” without any explanation as to the method.
However, here we have “double-refined Sugar, boil’d to Sugar again” which must mean something succinct and obvious to M. L. Lemery’s audience, but which I admit is lost on me. Also: “put in your Golden Pippins” but with no suggestion as to how many. Is it a pound, as per the previous pound of codlins used to make the Liquor? Should they be pared, peeled, sliced or chopped, or are they intended to be served or preserved whole? And by “Glasses“, does the author mean serving dishes, or glass preserving jars, with some sort of seal?
Frustrating, isn’t it? Sorry about that. If you can unpick this one any better than me, please do feel free to leave a comment below. Any help would be much appreciated…