Polish Hill and Peaches

July 2009

Summer in Pittsburgh is Peach Season!  The farmer’s markets abound with sweet, juicy, vibrant peaches.  Almost any summer day is an occasion enough for peach tartelettes, but this day had a little extra occasional incentive:  music, art, friends, a garden and the return of fiestaware.

Cream Cheese Pie Crust

6 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter
1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/8 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 cup
Ice Water

Place mixing bowl and flour in freezer to chill.

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the cream cheese, and rub the mixture between your fingers to blend the cream cheese into the flour until it resembles course meal.

Cut the butter into small pieces and add to mixture.

Add ice water as needed until the mixture can be formed into a ball.

Roll into a cylinder, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.


5 medium size peaches
1/4 cup pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (squeezed on Grandma’s juicer)
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon almond extract


Combine the fruit, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Toss to mix.  Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes.

Transfer the fruit to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid.

In a small saucepan, reduce this liquid, with the butter, to about 2 Tablespoons.

Allow the liquid to cool.

Add the almond extract.

Pour the mixture over the fruit and mix.

Cinnamon Streusel

Pure Cane Sugar


Divide the cylinder of dough into two portions.

Roll each portion into a thin disc shape.

Sprinkle streusel on the crust.

Arrange peach slices, leaving about 1 inch of an outer border.

Fold up the outer border of dough.
Sprinkle tops with additional streusel.

Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Summer in Pittsburgh is also time for the Polish Hill Arts Festival.  

“Polish Hill is a small, friendly neighborhood comfortably nestled on the steep hillside between the Hill District and the Strip District [in Pittsburgh]. Minutes away from the activity of downtown Pittsburgh, our front porches and doorsteps line the quiet residential streets, welcoming frequent neighborly visits. Stop in to find out what is happening in this small, lively community.”

Remember those Brazilian beats and Samba sounds in my backyard the night of my fake going away party?  The full band was filling the street with rhythms and energy in Polish Hill, so my friends and I went to support our percussion friends.

When the band removed the drums, the food appeared.  Magic.

Time to celebrate the performance with more music, festivities and a BBQ in a very special yard in Polish Hill.

Those stepping stones in the community garden rather resemble a large Q (a truly under-appreciated letter)!  Don’t you think?

I needed to return the fiestaware to Duke after my fake going away party.  Best to return a dish with a surprise inside! 

Both the sun and the tartelette began to disappear at the same time.

Not to worry.  There was still light… an urban campfire!

The music continued.

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