Art-inspired Food

Things that have happened since last time I blogged:

Blue Ivy introduced herself to the world. Giants won (!!!). Whitney passed away.

Goodness, February. My life however has been much of the same. Mostly work and art and food (pretty much everything this blog is about). A couple posts ago, I wrote about the new American Paintings Galleries at the Met which I paired with a mac & cheese recipe. This post is along those same lines. It’s another addition of ‘Art-Inspired Food’.

The Frick Collection right now has a new exhibition “Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-length Paintings.” I love the Frick. It’s the former private residence of the wealthy Henry Clay Frick which has now been preserved into an art museum. Every time I walk in I imagine what it must have been like to live in a place like that… surrounded by Marie Antoinette’s personal desk, oriental rugs, and Van Eyck portraits. So decadent.


The Renoir exhibition showcases the fashions found in his full-length painting style. His brushstroke is incredibly feathery and light. And the colors are so soft. All the airiness reminded me a big cloud of meringue or whipped cream. Inspired, I came home and decided to concoct a dessert to match. Et voilà! These mini lime cheesecakes are the result. Enjoy them and if you can, go see the exhibition which closes May 13.

Mini Lime Cheesecakes 

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (~10 sheets)
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
  • ½ stick (¼ cup) butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • ½ tablespoon lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lime, sliced for garnish

(1)       Preheat oven to 325° F.
(2)       In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with a fork until well combined. Divide evenly into 16 muffin tins and press evenly onto the bottom with a tall glass or spoon.
(3)       Bake for 5-7 minutes, then let the crusts cool completely.
(4)       Lower the oven temperature to 300° F.
(5)       With an electric mixer (or in a blender), add the cream cheese, lime juice, zest, sugar and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
(6)       Add the flour and salt and mix again, scraping down the side as needed, until incorporated.
(7)       Add the eggs all at once and mix just until incorporated.
(8)       Pour cream cheese mixture into the crusts, filling to the very top of the rim.
(9)       Bake for 20-22 minutes until the edges are slightly golden but the center is still a bit wobbly.
(10)    Cool completely and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours (overnight is better). Run a thin knife around the edges of the cakes and remove from pan.
(11)    In a clean bowl, whip the heavy cream and 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff peaks form. Dollop a spoonful onto each cheesecake and garnish with a slice of lime.

Makes about 16 mini cheesecakes