Quark

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 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.

Ingredients

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

Method

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.