Quark? That's that character from Star Trek, right? Sure, that's his name but today I am talking dairy!
I first discovered quark in Munich, Germany. Although at the time I didn't really know what it was. I just knew that I had been seeing the runnier, semi sour European yogurts up until that point in my trip. This one was drizzled with walnuts and honey and looked thicker. I took a small scoop to try. It was so delicious! Super creamy and just a little sweet. I was pleasantly surprised.
I belong to a German page on Facebook and one day she was discussing this treat called "quark." I was pretty sure then that it was what I had in Munich. I set out to see if I could make it from my goat milk. I found a few recipes for using cultures and this is what I came up with. Every milk is a little different so you may have to play with the draining times to get what you want but it is easy to make so give it a go!
We'll still make our runnier type of goat yogurt for smoothies but this is my new go to thick yogurt type of recipe! I also found that if I don't sweeten it that it works similar to sour cream. I plan to try it with a baked potato soon. I read that the un-thinned version can be used like cream cheese for käsekuchen (cheesecake.) Maybe we'll have a go at that too!
Quark Printable Recipe1 gallon whole milk (not ultra pasteurized)*
Buttermilk culture - USE 1 packet from New England Cheesemaking Culture or 1/8 teaspoon bulk from GetCulture
3 drops liquid rennet
Extra whole milk (amount needed depends on amount of quark making at serving time)
pure maple syrup or honey
pecans or walnuts
Heat milk to 86 degrees. Stir in culture. Then add rennet. You only need to stir for a little bit after the rennet. Put lid on the warm milk and culture. Place in a room that is about 70 - 72* degrees - no cooler than 68* for 18 hours.
You will see then that the curd has separated from the whey.
I have drained a bit of the whey off so you can see it better. Although it looks firm it is soft.
Dump curds into a double layer of cheesecloth and allow to hang and drain for about 4 hours.Your quark will be thick like cream cheese.
This photo is of it in a bowl, spread out a little bit more.
To get the quark to a consistency we like to eat I added in a little bit of whole milk. You can add cream but I think it would be too rich. My proportions I prefer are 3 tablespoons quark to 2 tablespoons whole milk.
It is super smooth and creamy. You can add in honey or maple syrup for a sweetener now or
add them in as layer to a parfait with pecans or walnuts.
* I tried this with Kalona Supernatural Whole milk and it worked great. They don't ultra pasteurize their milk.