Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness….
So begins, “To Autumn” which John Keats wrote in 1819. It was published in 1820, the year before he died at age 25 of tuberculosis. Here is the first stanza (you can read the entire poem here).
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cell
Autumn: the season to harvest apples, Italian plums, Bosc pears, juicy Concord grapes. Fruits filled “with ripeness to the core.” The season to make an apple pie or a torte with Italian plums, or to simply take the time to enjoy a cluster of grapes or a perfectly ripened pear. Just because it’s the season.
For this style of plum torte or cake, make a simple yeast dough with unbleached flour, yeast and water, enriched with egg and a little oil and a bit of sugar or honey if you like. After the first rising, roll out to fit your pan; butter the pan and fit in the dough. Let it rise again for about half an hour.
Cut the plums in quarters, mix them with a tablespoon of sugar, a couple teaspoons of flour and some cinnamon to taste; then, arrange the plum pieces in a sunflower pattern. Sprinkle the top with streusel. Bake at 350 or 375 degrees till the dough is golden, and the plums are juicy and turning a wonderful rose-gold color.
In German it’s called Zwetchgenkuchen. Hard to say, easy to eat. Very nice with a cup of coffee or tea on an afternoon in autumn.
For another post on Zwetchgenkuchen, click here.