A German-Jewish cake for Rosh Hashanah. The name comes from zwetsche (or quetsch), a variety of small, dark blue plum found in southern Germany and Alsace that ripens in time for New Year and Yom Kippur.
Sift the flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter and lightly rub the mixture with the tips of your fingers until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. If you have heavy hands, use a processor - grandma would have if only they'd been invented.
Mix in the sugar, zest and cinnamon. Bind the pastry with the egg, but as it should be too moist, don't add it all at once. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Meantime, cut the damsons into two and remove the stones. Depending on their ripeness, you may need to invoke several satisfying yiddish curses if the stones refuse to slip out easily.
Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/gas mark mark 5.
Grease a 25cm/10inch flan tin with a loose base. Lightly press the pastry into the tin, covering the base and sides.
Pack the plums, cut-side down, into the pastry base. If preferred, cut them further into quarters and arrange in an overlapping spiral. Bake for 50 minutes until the pastry is golden and the fruit soft and juicy.
Leave to cool in the tin. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and some icing sugar. Serve with soured or whipped cream.
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