Summer Peach Cake with Dried Strawberry {Raisins}

My mother-in-law brought two 'barquettes' of tiny wild strawberries to me when they came to lunch last Sunday.  Tiny and sweet they had to be eaten instantly--- or dried to use later.

Almost any fruit can be dried one way or another--but strawberries, especially little ones, once dehydrated make lovely little raisin-like gems that can be saved for cooking in cakes or even cookies!

If you have a dehydrating machine than you probably have made these already--but they are just as easy to make in your oven.  Simply wash and dry the berries, slice them if you are using large or normal strawberries, the little wild ones don't need to be cut up, and once they are dry lay them on parchment paper in a very low temp. oven, even the warm setting works, for 4- 6 hours.

(You can store them in an airtight jar -- just be sure they are totally dry, otherwise they can still mold.)  I kept mine in the fridge because I knew I would use them right away!

The cake I made with them was a gluten and dairy free fresh peach cake.  The result is a sweet and tender cake studded with the tiny strawberry raisins!

Fresh Peach and Strawberry {Raisin} Cake

3 cups almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup raw un-refined sugar

Blend the dry ingredients and set aside.

1 cup chopped fresh peaches
Zest of one orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 - 3/4 cup dried strawberries
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 light vegetable oil

Combine the wet ingredients and add to dry.  Mix until well blended and pour into a silicon cake form.  Bake at 350F degrees for 50 minutes or until the center feels solid and the top is golden.  Cool before slicing.

Fabulous as a breakfast cake --- or topped with vanilla ice cream as desert! Enjoy!

Le Pique Nique!

My niece recently pointed out this gorgeous and very inspirational image from a French magazine, Campagne Décoration -- it is the quintessential French 'pique-nique' don't you think?  It makes me want to dream up a delicious fresh summer menu--and pack it into a basket -- to tote off to a table under a tree -- or the beach!

Mid-August, gardens right now in France are exploding and the markets are brimming....

And even my vintage purchases for Sunday Brocantes of late seem to all be influenced by food!  

I love the idea of packing up fresh fruit, seasonal 'composed' salads, olives and dips....

 ... into antique French confiture jars!

The thick-sided jars, chilled in the fridge, so everything stays fresh and cool!

As the summer winds-down, I hope you can still sneak in some time for one last French-picnic ... or two!  I know I will!

Bon Appétit!

Credit: Images 1 and 3 from Campagne Décoration,  all others by me: ©Sunday Brocantes