Quark: Funny Name, But Seriously Good
Most of us can easily rattle off a long list of dairy products in our sleep: Milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc., etc. But I’m guessing quark probably isn’t on that list.
It isn’t very popular in the U.S, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have a long history. Like the French fromage blanc, the Indian paneer, and the Mexican queso fresco, quark is a fresh, soft, white cheese. It’s made by warming soured milk, letting it curdle, then straining it. The result can be enjoyed on its own or in recipes.
Quark is common in German-speaking countries, Canada and some parts of the United States. Given how easy it is to make and enjoy, we’re spreading the gospel of this delicious, unique dairy food. We’ll walk you through how to make it and provide you with recipes that use it.
Two ingredients, two steps
You only need two ingredients to make quark at home: Whole Milk and buttermilk. You can find our full recipe here: Homemade Quark. But we’ll take you through the steps in this blog post. First, start with simmering the whole milk. You’ll need to stir it often to keep it from burning.
After it sits and cools down for a bit, add the buttermilk. Buttermilk is acidic and the acid causes the whole milk to start curdling.
The last two steps are fairly hands off. Just let the mixture sit for 24 hours until it is thickened.
Next let it drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer until it is the consistency of Greek yogurt.
The end product will also be slightly sticky to the touch. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Enjoy in a variety of ways
Similar to cream cheese, quark is quite versatile. It’s a great base for cheesecakes and mousse and delicious in parfaits in place of yogurt.
You can also enjoy it in these recipes:
Salmon with Lemon Quark
The creamy, fresh taste of quark pairs perfectly with tangy lemon and rich salmon in this dish. Serve with pasta, rice, or quinoa and a veggie for a meal.
Quark adds a smooth richness to these indulgent, yet easy, truffles.
Strain it through a paper coffee filter.
How much of whole milk verses buttermilk? There are no ratios in your article
2 cups milk 1/2 cup buttermilk
How long do you let the milk simmer?
This recipe is more of a suggestion than directions.
Good idea, Eve, just make sure it is an organically made filter. The non-organics are made using a lot of toxic chemicals.
We provide the link to the full recipe in the blog post, but it wasn’t totally clear. So, we’ve updated the post to clarify this better. Thanks for commenting!
We provide a full recipe with ingredient amounts and directions on our recipe page. This wasn’t totally clear in the blog post, but we’ve updated it, so you can more easily link to the recipe. Thanks for commenting!
How is this different from just buttermilk? I’ve successfully cultured buttermilk from store-bought buttermilk, and plain milk (not boiled) but it’s just… buttermilk. Though very thick. Thanks.
Hello and thank you for your question. Quark is a soft fresh cheese made from buttermilk that gets strained, so is a little thicker. A key step seems to be the straining.