Oranges and grapefruit are high-priced and the dried fruits may be substituted to advantage. If these fruits are nicely prepared, the family will hardly be able to distinguish between them and the fresh fruit.
Frequently the dried fruits are so prepared that they are anything but inviting. Much will depend upon the selection of these fruits. Purchase only the best grade. This fruit should be bright and waxy and not too dry. Soak for fifteen minutes in warm water; this loosens the dirt before washing. Now wash in plenty of water. Cover with water and allow to stand until the fruit has plumped out; each piece of fruit will only absorb just the amount of moisture as it originally contained.
This will require from six to twelve hours, depending entirely upon the dryness of the fruit. Be sure that the water covers the fruit at least one inch. Now, when the fruit is ready, add sugar to sweeten and place in the stove to cook. The slower this fruit is cooked the better. Remember that hard, rapid cooking not only spoils dried fruits, but fresh fruit as well.
When cooked tender, drain the liquid from the fruit and measure. Allow one-half cup of sugar to every three cups of juice. Place this juice and the sugar in a separate saucepan and boil until thick; then pour over the fruit.
Dried fruits prepared this way will be found to be delicious. Apricots will require very little cooking, so drain them free from the liquid in which they are soaked and add the sugar. Boil the syrup until thick and then pour over the apricots and cook gently for ten minutes.
Remove the skins from peaches, after soaking them, and before cooking add a little piece of thin orange peel for flavor.