What is Quark and How to Make It
Quark is a fresh, soft, unripened cheese with the consistency of a thick yogurt. Quark is very popular in central Europe, especially Germany, and is widely used in cooking. Quark comes in different varieties.
- No-Fat quark
- High-Fat quark
- Creamed quark
- Fruit quark
Quark contains very little to no salt. It is fermented and acidified with a lactic acid cheese culture and a small amount of rennet. It is made with skim milk and cream is often added, in various amounts, later on.
Traditionally, quark is drained in cheesecloth. Industrial operations use quark separators which use centrifugal force to separate the quark from the whey. Quark is most often made today with ultra filtration, a process in which the quark is filtered away from the whey.
How to Make Quark at Home
1. Non-fat quark and half-fat quark
- 2 L/ 2 qt of skim milk or homogenized milk.
- ¼ tsp of cheese starter culture, you can order this here.
- Alternatively, you can use 2 tbsp of buttermilk from the store. Make sure that it
is fresh and not about to expire.
- A rice kernel size of a rennet tablet, or one drop of liquid rennet mixed in an ⅛ cup of cold water. You can order rennet here.
- Pasta strainer
- Warm your milk to 25 C/ 77 F in a pot on the kitchen stove.
- Stir in the culture.
- Stir in the rennet.
- Cover the pot and leave in a warm place (at least at room temperature).
- If you don’t have a pH meter, let it rest for 20 hours, once the milk has coagulated and tastes sour (comparable to yogurt), proceed to the next step. If you have a pH meter, proceed to the next step when the pH is 4.5 or lower.
Pouring the coagulated milk into the cheesecloth.
- Line the pasta strainer with cheesecloth.
- Pour the coagulated curd into the cheese cloth and let it drain until it develops the consistency of yogurt or custard.
- Your quark is now ready to use. Place in a tupperware container and keep refrigerated until needed.
2. Creamed Quark
Add about 10% of whipping cream to the non-fat or half-fat quark you made. If you made quark from 2 L/ 2 qt of skim milk you can expect to get about 2 cups of quark. You would then add about 3 tbsp of whipping cream. Of course you can play with it and find the perfect recipe for you.
How and Where to use Quark
Mix and enjoy quark with:
- Maple syrup
- Fresh herbs
- Salt and pepper
- Hot sauce
- Green onion
Enjoy quark along with:
- Bread or crackers as a spread
- Baked potatoes
Try out your homemade quark with this delicious Raspberry Quark Cake recipe.
We review and suggest Cheese Making Kits here if you would like to get started with making cheese.
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