Never Boastful: the Zwetschgen

Oh Zwetschgen. Oval plum of love. Tart. Green fleshed. Purple skinned. Bleeding crimson in the oven, staining the short crust with its nectar. Zwetschgen from my childhood, petite and firm. With a seam that recalls a little tush.

The pits holding fast when sliced bare, a paring knife required to pluck them out. My mother's steady hands flaying them wide and notching the tops, arranging them as soldiers on the front line. A sacrifice to the pastry gods.

I've found them displayed in dicey pyramids in the gentle hills of the northeast's Upper Valley and in the fluorescent aisles of Hollywood's food emporiums. Tis the season for these jewels, if only just ending. You need only buy a few pounds, some butter, sugar, an egg and the slim volume that is Confections of a Closet Master Baker. Conjure your patience and love. Invite your nearest and dearest and share.

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