Quark is a very low fat, high protein cheese, and the process for making it is very simple. You can whip it up at home using just one ingredient: non-homogenized buttermilk.
Quark has just begun to woo Canadians. It’s incredibly low in fat, yet packed with more than 13 g of protein in each 3 1/2 oz (100 g) serving. Quark is often compared to yogurt cheese, or labneh, but it’s sweeter and more satiating.
Quark means “curd” in Slavic and is a soft, white, unaged cheese made from whey. It’s been a homemade staple in German-speaking parts of Eastern Europe for hundreds of years. Quark’s high amount of casein, a slow-release protein, makes it the perfect post-workout bite and a sensible bedtime snack.
Quark is usually eaten fresh with fruit for breakfast or dessert. I find it difficult to cook with my homemade cheeses, as they’re irresistibly delicious as is. The silken, slightly sweet, and seemingly decadent quark curds will satisfy your palate and placate the urge to indulge in unhealthy foods.
Pour buttermilk into sanitized 3 qt (3 L) glass casserole dish; place in preheated oven for 2 hours. Turn off heat; leave in oven overnight or 8 hours.
You will be left with a solid, yogurtlike mass surrounded by whey. Spoon into cheesecloth-lined sieve; strain for 1 1/2 hours, until solid mass remains. The solid mass is quark (the longer you strain it, the thicker and drier it will be).
Save the whey, and refrigerate or freeze. Whey is excellent used in baking or in smoothies, given its high protein, or use it to water tomato or blueberry plants in your vegetable garden.
Use quark immediately, or refrigerate in sealed container for up to 3 weeks.
Makes 16 oz (450 g).
This recipe is part of the Cheese Making at Home collection.
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