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Wanting an easy Quark recipe? Check out this unusual way of making this staple ingredient used for German cheesecakes and so much more. The following was sent in by one of our fans, Shawn Garbett, who wanted to try making my recipe for homemade Quark using a Sous Vide cooking appliance.
➤ by Shawn Garbett
I was reading a baking recipe when I came across a reference to quark cheese. I'd never heard of quark cheese and being a cheese lover I needed to try this with all due haste.
Being that none is available nearby and being an amateur cheesemaker myself I figured I'd just make some. I began a search of the internet for recipes. Most I found had some very dodgy practices that is until I ran across Oma's recipe.
I realized that her procedure is one of the easiest most foolproof procedures in making cheese that I've ever seen. There are a few additional details I'd like to share to ensure success, but otherwise follow her recipe and one will have quark in no time.
The first is the choice of buttermilk. Make sure it has active culture. Some buttermilks sold have been pasteurized killing the active culture. By using active cultured buttermilk, one skips right over a tricky step in cheesemaking: getting very fresh milk with little processing cultured.
This is a natural acid set cheese. Do not use vinegar or lemon juice to rush the process--it needs the natural culture to develop the flavor.
The mesophilic culture in buttermilk will continue to acidify if given the right conditions. Optimal is 92F (33C) for 24 hours in Oma's recipe. I used a sous vide cooker to do achieve this and just opened the buttermilk carton and placed right in the water and set my sous vide to 94F since it was quite cool in my house and the top of the carton was exposed.
The popular multi-function "one pot" that has settable temperature would also work quite well. Yogurt cookers are designed for a thermophilic culture which likes a hotter temperature (110-115F). Mesophilic will still grow but slower so if one uses a yogurt makers one should wait a bit longer, say 30 hours. If neither of these are available, a lukewarm water bath from the tap will do or a counter top in the summer when the house is warm. Just let it go a bit longer if it gets off optimal temperature.
The second tip for success is a good cheese cloth. This is not what is sold as "cheese cloth" in the grocery store. A good cheese cloth is a 100% cotton unbleached muslin cloth. To keep it a cheese cloth it is never to be washed or exposed to detergents or soap. To clean simple wash off any curd matter still left and wash in washer with bleach or borax. The acidity is very important to good cheese making and cloth can retain residual soap which will work against the acidity and can spoil the process.
With good temperature control and a soap free cheese cloth this is an incredibly easy process. The rest is just letting it drip out remaining whey and oh is it delicious. Much more delicate flavor than a sour cream from the store. Quark is simple and tasty.
Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers. You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods.
I pop in all the time as well, to chat and to answer questions.
Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.
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