Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    2 cups

Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

I became obsessed with quark, a soft fresh cheese that’s used like thick yogurt or cream cheese, while testing a few of the recipes in Luisa Weiss’s Classic German Baking. She makes it in a 150°F (66°C) oven, and her method is foolproof, but I’ve been using slow cookers on the lowest warm or keep-warm setting with great success too. Slow cookers’ warm functions vary greatly, and ideally you’ll want to make this in a cooker with a very low warm temperature: If the buttermilk is heated in a relatively hot cooker, it will solidify quickly (in about 2 hours), but the resulting quark is firmer and sometimes less smooth. A lower warm setting will take longer, up to 8 hours, but will result in a somewhat creamier quark. The first time you make this, check it at 2 hours and then every hour afterward until it’s done, and make a note of your time below for future reference.

Quark is incredibly versatile and easy and cheap to make, and could very well become a staple in your refrigerator. Save the drained whey, refrigerate it separately from the quark, and use it in smoothies or bread doughs or just drink it plain—it’s tart and refreshing.


  • ½ gallon (2 L) cultured buttermilk, full-fat or low-fat


Pour the buttermilk into the slow cooker. Cover and turn the cooker to the warm or keep-warm setting (or the yogurt setting at “normal” on an Instant Pot). The buttermilk will separate into a creamy top layer about the thickness of Greek yogurt (but fluffier in texture) and a watery bottom layer and will be firm and just warm to the touch in the center. This will take 2 to 8 hours, depending on your cooker.

Put a sieve or colander over a bowl and line it with four layers of rinsed and squeezed cheesecloth and use a slotted spoon or skimmer to gently spoon the creamy top layer in, leaving the watery whey behind. Let drain at room temperature for 2 to 4 hours, then transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.