I’ve only met Cheryl Sternman Rule through Twitter, her blog’ 5 Second Rule‘ and now through her new cookbook, ‘Ripe.’ She does freelance work for several publications and she is someone whose voice I admire. Her blog posts are filled with stories and anecdotes that just work for me; a combination of warmth, humor and knowledge that I just love reading. If you haven’t heard of Cheryl then run, don’t walk and see for yourself what I’m talking about; you will love her too!
When we discussed my reviewing her new book I was certainly excited; I expected something wonderful. But I didn’t expect this. Categorized into color sections based on the color of the produce, the photos by Paulette Phlipot are as exquisite as the recipes; each one tantalizing you and almost saying, ‘Make me, make ME!’ I had a difficult time choosing just one so I decided to choose by color. My favorite color of all time is purple. I can remember as a little girl wanting to wear all purple every day and I can not even believe my parents indulged me when moving into a new home when I was ten. They let me pick the color of the fixtures in the bathroom I would share with three siblings and purple it was! While I’m not quite that fanatical today; I still love the color so purple it was. This section actually combines purple and blue. The first recipe and photo were for blackberry-lime cornmeal shortcakes. OH YES…I was going to make those. Ah, but no blackberries. Moving on I next happened on this cake. Not a coffee cake dotted with some blueberries, no, it was a cake FILLED with them. I had just stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some gorgeous blueberries; this I could do.
I did mention to Cheryl that I was making this cake and she, in an appropriate fashion for her name, sternly warned me, ‘Don’t eat it today, make sure you save it for tomorrow.’ That had been my plan but I admit, I might have normally taken a nibble but feeling Cheryl was sitting on my shoulder watching, I waited. I was promised a moist, jammy cake and I thought, ‘Hehe, she does not know Denver.’ Still, I persevered and was so happy I did. Wrapped up and aging overnight gave me just that; seriously moist and plump with blueberries; it was divine. The nutmeg? Genius. I love cinnamon as much as the next guy but why don’t we honor nutmeg more; it was amazing.
I seriously loved this cake. When fruit is perfectly seasonal and ripe, it doesn’t need to be overplayed. This was all about the berry. I’m craving it again. I have blueberries in the fridge. They will be baking in a cake within the hour especially now that it’s 72 at noon and not 102. There was not a lot of baking going on in my home the past couple of weeks and I’m ready!
- 2 cups (220g) blueberries
- 3/4 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup plus 2 & 1/2 Tbsp (190g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg, divided
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 pound (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, toss the blueberries with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of the nutmeg and the salt.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and 1/4 cup (187g) of the sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, beat in the sifted ingredients. Do not overbeat. Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Scatter the berries and any juices over the batter. Stir the remaining 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the nutmeg together and sprinkle the mixture over the berries. Bake in the center of the oven for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake just begins to pull away from the sides.
- Cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the springform pan and let it finish cooling completely. Slide a wide, thin spatula under the cake to transfer it to a large plate. Wrap tightly with plastic and let it mellow at room temperature for several hours or overnight before eating.
While the cake may appear dry when freshly baked, it takes on a fantastic dampness after an overnight rest and it continues to improve with age. After 24 hours, store any leftovers in the fridge (what leftovers?).