A few weeks ago I was out with my husband, finally a day out together where he wasn’t working (well okay, after we got home he went in to work for a few hours, but at least I got to spend some time with him). We were driving around the city and I decided to go to the market where I always buy my Quark, I figured if we were out, I would buy some, as I was planning on making my Kase-Sahne Torte for Father’s Day. We did a bit of grocery shopping while we were there, then went to the dairy aisle only to find that they had no Quark. I looked, my husband looked, we had someone who worked there look, and he also asked a manager. Nope, no Quark. They said either they are out of stock or they just are not getting it back in. That was a blow. I was not happy when I heard that. It’s not the easiest thing to find, but I have always been able to search it out in Calgary.
Once we got home, I started to search out the other stores that usually carry Quark, all the searches came up empty, no one had it listed any longer on their websites. My frustration was now turning to deep concern. So I e-mailed the creamery that makes the Quark, asking if they sell it direct or do they know where I can find it? It took a couple of days for them to get back to me, seeing as it was the weekend when I e-mailed them, but they did get back to me. Apparently they had sold the production of the Quark a few years ago to another company and that company had decided last month to stop all production of Quark altogether. They had done some checking and no one, NO ONE in Western Canada produce Quark. There are a few places in Eastern Canada which do produce this, but seeing as I live in the Western part of the country, that’s not an option.
After I finally stopped being mad, okay I’m not really over being mad that they stopped production but I must move on, I started looking up how to make Quark myself. Why hadn’t I done this before??? It is so easy to do yourself and the results are by far substantially better than anything you can buy. At least the stuff I was buying anyway.
After my first try at making Quark, I made the Kase-Sahne Torte, and gave one to my dad for him and my mom. When I saw them on Sunday for Father’s Day I asked how they liked it, and then told them I had made the Quark myself. My mom told me that it had more flavour than it had in the past, there was a definite difference to the store bought Quark.
Quark is more or less a cream cheese, though it’s soft enough to use directly from the fridge in a cheesecake. It also has a more tangy flavour than regular cream cheese.
There are several different ways to make Quark, some call for boiling whole milk and then letting it cool, adding in some buttermilk and letting it sit overnight, then strain. Some call for mixing the buttermilk and milk together and placing in a oven at 150°F for 8 hours, then let cool. Strain.
I went with the easiest version and I have to say the results were beyond all expectation! If you ever decide to try either my Kase-Sahne Torte or my Kasekuchen, you really should make the Quark yourself either the day before or 2 days before and have it ready in the fridge.
Start by pre-heating your oven to 175°F, yes this is a really low oven, and in either a ceramic or glass dish, pour 2 litres of 3% buttermilk. You want the higher fat buttermilk here, don’t go for the low fat kind. Cover the dish with parchment paper and then some foil and seal it up nice. If you have a glass dish with a tight fitting lid, simply put the lid on. Place this in your pre-heated oven and set the timer for 2 hours. I do this at night a few hours before going to bed. After the 2 hours is up, simply turn off the oven and leave the dish in the oven over night to do it’s thing.
In the morning I line a large collander with coffee filters (if you have cheese cloth you can use this, but I prefer coffee filters because they are cheaper and more readily available). Remove the dish from the oven and carefully, spoon the now congealed buttermilk into your lined collander.
I place a few more coffee filters on top and then allow this to drain on it’s own, in your sink, or in a large bowl for 1 hour. After 1 hour, I place a plate on top and then a bowl on the plate and place a large heavy can inside the bowl (the bowl is there to make sure the can doesn’t get wet from the liquid draining off the Quark). Let this drain another 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I check every half an hour, pouring off the liquid. Once you start to notice there is little to no more liquid coming off, your ready to place your Quark in a container and into the fridge. The liquid coming off will be clear.
I weigh out the Quark so I have 500 grams in one container for my baking needs, and the rest goes into a smaller container for my husband to use on his crackers and sandwiches. This recipe will make slightly more than 600 grams of Quark.
If you are simply using the Quark as an alternative to cream cheese, it can be stored in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks, though I wouldn’t expect it to last that long. This is a great alternative for someone looking for a higher protien cream cheese.
Makes approx. 600 grams
2 litres buttermilk, higher fat
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees F.
- Pour buttermilk into ceramic or glass dish, cover either with lid or parchment paper and foil.
- Place in oven for 2 hours.
- Turn oven off and leave dish in oven overnight.
- The next morning line a collander with cheese cloth or coffee filters and scoop the curds into the collander. Either gather up cheese cloth or place a couple more coffee filters on top.
- Allow to drain into a bowl or sink for 1 hour and then weigh it down with a plate and a heavy object. (Bowl and large can). Allow to continue draining for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Scoop into container. If using for my Kasekuchen or Kase-Sahne Torte, you want to weigh out 500 grams into one container and the rest into another.
- Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.