Barb Hodgens
Barb Hodgens

Barb Hodgens loves to cook with alternative, healthy whole food ingredients, with a focus on gut health. Barb has overcome her own gut health issues through healthy eating. Share your ideas, comments and photos at the end of this post :)

quark

You’ll luv the taste of this creamy soft cheese.

Quark is a German fermented milk product with a creamy texture which is classified as an unaged, soft cheese. It tastes somewhere between sour cream and yogurt - but is a little sweeter than both and without the tang. It’s a delicious and versatile dairy ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Many traditional German recipes bake with it, but it can also be enjoyed straight from the fridge like homemade yogurt or dolloped on cakes or savoury dishes in place of cultured sour cream. The possibilities are endless!                     

Quark is very popular across Europe but hard to find in other parts of the globe (and often expensive when you do). For those with a nostalgic longing (or simply curious) the good news is, it’s very easy to make at home. If you’ve ever made yogurt cream cheese the process of making quark is very similar but even easier. You don’t even need to heat the milk! With a Luvele yogurt maker the set and forgot incubation process is completely failsafe and stress free.

BUTTERMILK STARTER CULTURE

Cultured dairy products are defined by the starter culture bacteria used. Homemade yogurt requires specific thermophile starter culture bacteria while quark is milk that has been inoculated with mesophile bacteria - better knownas buttermilk cultures. Depending on the quality of the buttermilk, somewhere between a quarter and a whole cup may be needed as a starter culture. Unfortunately, it is hard to know how ‘live’ with bacteria store-bought buttermilk is. We used one cup of buttermilk to ensure healthy bacteria were present and inoculated for 24-hours to allow enough time for the bacteria to multiply.

Note: It’s important to read the ingredients on store-bought buttermilk to make sure it actually contains ‘cultures’ and does not contain other additives. Low-fat buttermilk is not successful.

quark

DRIPPING BUTTERMILK 

Buttermilk fermentation does not set like homemade yogurt. After fermentation, our milk remained thin and resembled a cultured milk drink. The second step in making quark is to remove the whey. This is done by straining the cultured buttermilk through a muslin cloth to drip off the whey. You can strain the quark until you reach the consistency you like but straining 6-8 hours or overnight produces a firm, thick and creamy texture. The process leaves you with a lot of whey! See these tips for how to use whey.

PREPARATION

Before you begin, sterilise the yogurt making glass jar, lid and any utensils you use, in boiling water. The danger of not sterilising is that other bacteria may overpower your culture and affect the quality of your yogurt.

quark

quark steps

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