German Quark (soft cheese)

JoSele Swopes


This mysterious cheese variety is a weight loss favorite. Quark is soft, fresh cheese, that has a similar creamy texture to sour cream and a mild tangy taste. Originating in Europe (the name essentially means "curd"), quark is a versatile creamy cheese, useful in everything from cake recipes to dips and low-fat spreads.

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1 to 1-1/2 cups


20 Min


12 Hr


4 c
buttermilk cultured (organic)
1/4 c
skim milk (organic) as needed
kosher salt to taste opt
glass baking dish
kitchen towel, linen or cheesecloth
strainer or colander
lid or tinfoil

Directions Step-By-Step

In Germany, quark is sold in small plastic tubs and usually comes in three different varieties, Magerquark (lean quark, virtually fat-free), "regular" quark (20% fat) and Sahnequark (creamy quark, 40% fat) with added cream. While Magerquark is often used for baking and as health food, e.g. as a breakfast spread, Sahnequark also forms the basis of a large number of quark desserts. Much like yoghurts in some parts of the world, these treats mostly come with fruit flavouring (Früchtequark, fruit quark), and are often also simply referred to as quark.
Quark is a type of fresh cheese. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins is met, and then strained. Dictionaries usually translate it as curd cheese or cottage cheese, although most commercial varieties of cottage cheese are made with rennet, whereas traditional quark is not. It is soft, white and unaged, similar to some types of fromage frais. It is distinct from ricotta because ricotta (Italian: "recooked") is made from scalded whey. It is quite similar to the Indian paneer.
Set oven to 150*F. Pour buttermilk into the baking dish and cover with a lid or tinfoil. If the lid is plastic or rubber, make sure it’s dishwasher safe – if so, it should be fine at 150*F in the oven. Place the dish in the oven and let it sit overnight, or about 8-12 hours.
In the morning, remove the dish from the oven. Place the strainer in the sink or a large pot and line it with the linen. Spoon or pour the contents of the baking dish into the strainer. You’ll notice that the curd (solid) has partially separated from the whey (liquid). Cover the cheese with the ends of the cloth and let it drain in the sink for 30-60 minutes. To speed up the process, fill a bowl or sealed container with water and place on top to weigh it down. 30 min............
Dump the contents into a bowl and refrigerate. Once chilled, add milk 2T at a time until it is smooth and easy to spread with a texture similar to creamy ricotta cheese. Add salt to taste. Makes 8oz or about 1 to 1-1/2 cups.