Some of the best Swiss fruit is now available, en masse, in supermarkets.
Particularly beloved are the Walliser Apricots with their rote Backen, or red cheeks, describing the rosy blush they have on their skin, and the Zwetschgen, the plum's regal, indigo cousin.
The Swiss Association of Fruit is keen to let the public know that their superior fruit is in season, and they have two spokesanimals and a series of TV commercials to help do it.
Meet Barry the Bernese Mountain Dog and a goose named Hans (the Gans). In the German ads, Hans is an impatient and impertinent Ostschweizer (someone from Eastern Switzerland) and Barry is slow and relaxed, just as his Bernese accent suggests. Translated into other national languages, Barry keeps his name, but the goose becomes Jean in French and Gianni in Italian. The pair remain impatient and relaxed respectively, though I can't tell if this is signalled so obviously in their accents, as it is in Swiss German.
Luckily for those who live outside of Switzerland, you can still see Barry and Hans in all of their numerous fruit adventures on YouTube.
This is a super easy cake, perfect for any stone fruits, or a mix of many. Thanks to my mother-in-law Josy for the base of this recipe. She normally makes hers with apricots and sprinkles some slivered almonds on top.
800 g apricots and plums (or zwetschgen), pitted and halved
100 g butter, softened
100 g sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract or paste
200 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / gas mark 6
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Beat until you have a fluffy, creamy mass.
Mix together the flour and baking powder and fold this into the butter mixture.
Scrape into a 24 cm (or 9 inch) springform pan or rectangular tart pan with removable bottom and arrange the apricot and plum halves in a pleasing pattern on top.
Bake for about an hour, or until you can really smell the cake and it is pulling away from the sides of the pan.
- Top with slivered almonds and a handful of sugar for a crunchy finish.