Sunday, September 24, 2006

zwetschgen cobbler

My German teacher spent at least five minutes trying to explain what a "zwetschge" was before I finally looked it up in my dictionary: it's a plum. Back in CA, plums were usually round, juicy, and either light or dark purple. Zwetschgen are oval, tiny, dry, black on the outside and decidedly green on the inside. So you can see why I was confused. I later learned that there are about 20 plum varieties regularly available commercially and in the US, we generally consume Japanese varieties which have a clingstone pit and are juicier than the "European" plum.

Anyway... people go crazy for zwetschgen here, or any fruit really . In Zurich, you can tell the month by the type of fruit cake on the menu. So now every restaurant has a Zwetschgenkuchen, replacing August's Pfirsichkuchen and July's Aprikosenkuchen. Seasonal eating is fun but makes me panic - I'm afraid the season will end before I get my fill. So despite my better judgment, I made another dessert that will primarily end up in my own tummy. I really need more friends so I don't have to eat everything myself.

So here's the anatomy of my plum cobbler...
an admittedly humble offering compared to the fancy plum treats I've seen on various food blogs this month.

Prepare the filling
Preheat oven to 425F(220C). Pit and quarter one kilo plums.
Lovingly blanket them with 1.25cups sugar.
Drizzle 2TB of lemon juice and dot with 4TB of butter.

Make the bisquit dough
Mix 1 cup flour, 2TB sugar, 1/4tsp salt, 2tsp baking powder. Cut in 4TB butter. Lightly add 6TB cold milk. Knead on lightly floured counter 8-12 times until cohesive ball. Pat gently into pan shape and place over fruit. Tuck into sides, covering all the fruit. The recipe calls for an 8x8 pan. I doubled the dough to fit my oval dish.
Bake 35-40 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Reheat leftovers for breakfast.(from Fannie Farmer's Baking Book)

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