I love cookbooks.  Over the years I’ve acquired quite a collection.  Vegetarian cookbooks, books on baking, canning, even for making popsicles.  As a photographer, I fall especially hard for cookbooks that place just as much importance on the photography as the recipes.  So, when I saw that one of my favorite food writers, Cheryl Sternman Rule, was pairing up with Paulette Phlipot, to create a cookbook on seasonal eating it was a book I knew I would instantly love.

ripe cookbook

And I was right.

Ripe sets out to guide you with simple recipes written to highlight the flavors of fruits and vegetables as they are in season, and at their finest. Cheryl’s witty writing and Paulette’s colorful images (150, to be exact) bring each recipe to life.  It was hard to decide just what to make first.

I finally landed on the Blackberry Lime Cornmeal Stacks. Due to our bounty of sweet strawberries I swapped them in for the blackberries, but that is the only change I made to this beautifully written and photographed recipe.  It’s the perfect dessert for sharing with friends, as you sit outside, enjoying the warmth of a summer evening.

Blackberry-Lime Cornmeal Stacks


  • Serves 4
  • Shortcakes:
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 1?2 cup (40g) medium-grind cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1?4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen until hard
  • 1?2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (120ml) cold heavy cream
  • 1 1?2 teaspoons Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
  • Filling:
  • 4 cups (440g) fresh blackberries
  • 1?4 cup plus 1 teaspoon (65g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup (237ml) cold, heavy cream
  • Additional lime zest, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. To make the shortcakes: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and zest. Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter over the dry ingredients. Fluff gently with a fork. Drizzle with the 1?2 cup (118ml) of the cream. Stir with a wooden spoon just until the ingredients cohere and no visible floury bits remain.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured board and form into a 4 1?2-inch (11.5cm) diameter, 1-inch (2.50cm) high disc. Cut into quarters and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush with the remaining tablespoon of cream and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Bake the shortcakes until golden, risen, and firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Cut in half horizontally.
  4. To make the filling: Toss the blackberries with 1?4 cup (62g) of the sugar and the lime juice. Transfer half of this mixture to a small bowl and set aside. Take a potato masher to the remaining blackberry mixture and mash until pulpy. In a large bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  5. To assemble: Lay 1 shortcake bottom on a plate. Dollop with some whipped cream, top with a few whole berries, replace the shortcake cap, and spoon some of the mashed blackberry pulp on top. Garnish with lime zest. Repeat with the remaining shortcakes, berries, cream, and zest. Serve immediately.

 ripe cookbook
Photography © 2012 by Paulette Phlipot.
If you love the beauty of eating seasonally, or just want to expand your cooking repertoire then Ripe is for you.  I can easily see this being my go-to book for the summer as we work our way through our CSA box.  I’m seriously eyeing the recipe for Turnip and Yukon Gold Puree with Buttermilk and Chives.  I think it will be perfect for the turnips we got in our box this week!
To purchase your own copy of Ripe (and I highly encourage you to) follow these links…
Have a great weekend!



2 Responses to Blackberry-Lime Cornmeal Stacks

  1. Heather says:

    What a beautiful recipe and lovely cookbook – I too am somewhat of a cookbook hoarder – my latest favorite is “Homemade” by Yvette van Boven, this looks like it would be a total favorite in our house too.

    • Alison says:

      I almost treat my cookbooks like art books, pouring over every page. Ripe is beautiful and I love so many of the recipes. I hope you can get your hands on a copy to see for yourself.

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