Quark is a fresh cultured dairy product common to German speaking countries, northern Europe, and the Netherlands. It’s a soft curd cheese, similar to cottage cheese. Different varieties of quark are used in a wide variety of dishes. It may be used as a spread, a base for desserts, or as a sour-cream alternative.
MAKES APPROXIMATELY 400G
- 1L full cream milk (homogenised) or full cream UHT milk.
- 5 drops (or 0.3ml) Calcium Chloride.
- A tiny pinch (or ½ ‘drop’ spoon) Mesophilic Starter Culture.
- 0.5ml liquid or 1/16th tablet rennet diluted in 15ml of cool, non-chlorinated water (boiled and cooled).
- Cream (optional).
- Salt and herbs to taste.
- Measure out 15ml of cool, non-chlorinated water and stir in the rennet.
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and stir the calcium chloride into the cold milk.
- Warm the milk to 31°C whilst stirring constantly to prevent scalding.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the mesophilic starter culture. Allow the starter culture to rehydrate for one minute, then stir it through the milk.
- Add the diluted rennet and stir it through for 15 seconds, then stop stirring immediately.
- Cover the saucepan and and let it sit undisturbed in a warm spot (e.g. in an oven on ‘warm’ setting, or the kitchen sink with warm water) for 16 hours, or until the curd has set into a custard-like consistency. This may take up to 24 hours if the milk is not kept warm enough.
- Transfer the curd into a double layered cheese cloth lined colander and drain for 12-24 hours in the fridge, or until the quark reaches a desirable thickness. The longer you drain, the thicker the cheese will become.
- You may wish to finish the quark by adding a small amount of cream for a richer consistency, and/or herbs and salt to taste.