Quark, a delicious and versatile cultured product, is popular worldwide. There are multiple varieties of quark: sahnequark (cream quark), made with a large portion of heavy cream; traditional quark, made with whole milk; magerquark (schichtkase), made with skim or 2% milk; and buttermilk quark, made with cultured buttermilk. Traditional quark recipes call for mesophilic cultures and calcium chloride, but this recipe makes quark easy for those not ready to rush headlong into serious cheesemaking.
- 1 gallon of pasteurized milk
- 1 packet direct-set sour cream culture
- 1-2 Tbsp. heavy cream, if needed
- Heat the milk to 88°F.
- Sprinkle starter on the top of the warmed milk and leave for 1 minute.
- Gently incorporate culture into milk using a rubber spatula, moving in slow, up-and-down motions. Once the starter has been thoroughly mixed in, cover the pot and let it stand, undisturbed, for 24 hours, or until it has set.
- Place a clean colander over a large bowl; line with damp butter muslin. Ladle curds from the pot into the colander. Tie up the corners of the butter muslin into a knot, making a sack containing the cheese curds.
- Put the whole thing—colander, bowl, and curds in the sack—into a cooler, cellar, or other cool location under 55°F. Drain for 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, check the quark. If it is too wet, leave it to drain longer. If it is too dry, spoon it into a non-reactive bowl, and add cream, mixing thoroughly. Once the quark’s consistency reaches the desired consistency, store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.