Quark, unless you’ve lived in particular parts of Europe, you’ve very likely never have heard of it. It dominates Greek yogurt in just about every nutritional aspect. Quark (pronounced “kvark” in German) is neither yogurt nor cottage cheese, but instead, it has the consistency of Greek Yogurt, just creamier. My quark recipe has about half the calories of Greek yogurt, double the protein of regular yogurt, and what is even more important, it has no added artificial sweeteners.
Germans living abroad have two big concerns:
The first one is about getting good bread and the second is about finding quark in grocery stores. Quark is kind of the holy grail for Germans outside of Germany. So I make my own; Quark is extremely easy to make. Once you taste it, I guarantee you will continue to make your own.
What is Quark:
Technically quark is a cheese. A fresh and slightly drained cows’ milk cheese that is similar to old-fashioned cream cheese. It is very high in protein and as a bonus, my recipe is free of added sugar, fillers, starches, and artificial ingredients. It tastes like a cross between Greek yogurt, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, think of it as a creamier thicker version of yogurt. A spreadable white creamy cheese that you can eat sweet with a bit of honey or even savory with herbs and potatoes. It is very versatile and, like cream cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt, is used in a lot of both sweet and savory recipes.
Bourbon Marinated Figs, Quark, and Caramel Sauce
Common uses for Quark:
Quark makes a great base for many recipes such as cheesecake, pasta, creamy sauces, sandwiches, salads, and desserts In northern Europe, it’s common to spread it on toast in the morning and eat it with fruit. Basically, anything you can think of that calls for ricotta, you can make with quark. Quark has been a big part of my life growing up; again great food memories of simple food, that we were happy to indulge in. It doesn’t offer the complexity of an aged cheese, but rather it tastes fresh, milky, sweet, and clean.
Making your own Cheese:
There is something satisfying about making fresh cheese, even more, intriguing for me is that I know of people who, after they made the recipe they got that “I MADE CHEESE” attitude. Making cheese often involves both starter culture and rennet, however, you can also make cheese very simply with heat and buttermilk, letting the natural bacteria do their work, causing the cheese curds to separate from the whey.
I love to have my breakfast on Sunday morning with a great cup of coffee and newspaper. I have the usual, 2 poached eggs, fresh juice, occasionally I add quark with fruit to a slice of my freshly baked Farmer’s bread. The selection of seasonal fresh fruit is limited this time of the year, however, cranberries and tangerines with quark sounded pretty good. Tangerines simmered and cooked in a syrup accompany the dish extremely well. The uncooked marinated cranberries add another flavor and crunch for a perfect combination. Any leftover tangerines or cranberries are a great topping for Steel Cut Oatmeal.
Easy to make Quark
- 2 quart buttermilk
- 4 ounce heavy cream
- 4 ounce heavy cream
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
- Mix buttermilk and 4 ounces of heavy cream together in a 2-quart ceramic casserole dish or I use my Dutch Oven.2 quart buttermilk, 4 ounce heavy cream
- Cover and place in preheated oven for 2 to 3 hours or until there is a slight layer of whey floating on to of the curds
Drain the Quark
- Line a colander with cheesecloth and place it over a large pot in the sink. Pour buttermilk curd mixture into the prepared colander. Place in refrigerator and drain overnight.
- Transfer drained cheese to a bowl add 4 ounces of heavy cream and beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator4 ounce heavy cream
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate