• 2 quarts whole milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • double boiler


Combine the milk and buttermilk in a container. Cover and let stand at room temperature for a day or two. When the milk is ready, it will thicken and smell a little sour. Set up the double boiler and place on the heat. Once the water below is simmering, pour the milk into the top. In a few minutes, the milk will begin to shrink from the edges of the pan and the surface will start to look somewhat solid. After about 5 minutes stick a knife into the center of the quark. If the knife comes out clean, it is ready. The liquid around the quark will be clear. Remove from the heat and let cool. When it is cool, strain through a fine sieve or cloth lined colander. The liquid which drains out should be clear. If it is cloudy, the quark did not cook long enough and it should be heated longer. If the quark looks a little grainy and is a slightly yellowish color, it has been cook too long. Quark will last several days in the refrigerator. Quark is a fresh cheese (as opposed to aged) that is similar to ricotta or pureed cottage cheese (quark has no curds). It is readily available in Europe but practically unknown in the US. It comes in full fat, low fat, and nonfat varieties. It's a common ingredient in German cooking and baking, and most German cookbooks that I've seen in the US that give equivalents say to substitute cottage cheese, although I think quark is a lot tangier. Quark is a soft spreadable cheese. It's about the texture of drained yogurt or sour cream. It tastes somewhat like a combination of yogurt and sour cream, too, with maybe just a hint of cream cheese added.

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