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A Bucket Full of Blueberry Recipes

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See that one lonely ripe blueberry next to all the green ones still on the verge? It’s like the older girl in PE class in elementary school. She’s already shopping for training bras while everyone else is begging mama for something other than a T-shirt.

This one Type A over-achiever is ahead of the curve, but all those others are going to mature at once and hopefully, bring forth a major crop of blueberries. We’ve got the bushes draped with netting to keep the birds at bay. (Thanks Corinne Fay for snapping that for me.)

I love blueberries. I often will eat a pint while shopping at the market or in the car on the way home. Blueberries are good and good for you. Blueberries bring to mind fingers stained purple-blue, fruity pies and cobblers, and warm, fresh-from-the-oven muffins. (Check out my Blueberry Cobbler with Honey Peach Ice Cream in this month’s Taste of the South.)

It seems that’s how it is when you grow your own. Famine or Feast. Bust or Bumper Crop. Runt or Ripe. Not sure what to do with the summer bounty heading your way?

Guess what? I’ve got the book for you.

It’s Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables by my friend and colleague, Food Writer Cheryl Sternman Rule & Food Photographer Paulette Phlipot. Ripe was hailed as “one of the summer’s best cookbooks” by NPR.

I adore Cheryl’s smart, award-winning writing and the photography in this sweet book is beautiful. Ripe is a petite book, but packed with great recipes and ideas. Pardon the pun – it’s ripe for the picking.

The colors and concepts are made even more bold by the organization of the book. The food is grouped by color. Red. Blue. Green. White. Orange. I love it. It’s downright fun.

This book does what cookbooks are meant to do – it makes you want to cook, it makes you want to eat. It makes your mouth water. It makes you hungry.

This week, in honor of the forthcoming bumper crop, I’m going to share some blueberry recipes including one from Cheryl and my blueberry jam recipe with a bit of candied ginger. Lastly, at the very end I’ve included a slew of links – a bucket FULL of blueberry recipes!

Bon Appétit, Y’all

Ripe’s Blueberry Nutmeg Cake
Serves 8

According to Cheryl, this cake tastes especially amazing when baked one day ahead.

2 cups(220g) blueberries
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 21/2 tablespoons (190g) granulated sugar, divided
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 pound (1 stick, or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9-inch (23-cm) 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 3/4 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 11/2 tablespoons of sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg together and sprinkle over the berries.

Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 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.

Spring the cake free then finish cooling completely. Slide a wide, thin spatula under the cake to transfer it to a large plate. Wrap tightly with plastic, and, if you can stand it, let mellow at room temperature for several hours, or overnight, before eating.

Tip: While the cake may appear dry when freshly baked, it takes on a fantastic dampness after an overnight rest, and continues to improve with age. (The blueberries become almost jammy as the cake matures.) After 24 hours, I store any leftovers, tightly wrapped, in the fridge.

Recipe reprinted with permission from RIPE © 2012 by Cheryl Sternman Rule, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group. Photography © 2012 by Paulette Phlipot.

PS: Here are a couple of other blueberry recipes I thought you might enjoy:

Lemon Pie with Blueberry Meringue by Erin Jean McDowell
Buttery Blueberry Ginger Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree
Buttermilk Blueberry Pie Bars by Dorie Greenspan 

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #virginiawillis on Instagram.

Heads up! I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional noam I an official WW ambassador or representative. I am simply sharing what works for me. Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or a book signing, let me know! Send an email to and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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