Quark is a soft, unripened German cheese made from buttermilk that has a texture and flavor similar to sour cream. Quark can be used as a sour cream–substitute to top baked potatoes and as an ingredient in a variety of dishes, including cheesecakes, dips, salads, and sauces.
Yields: about 1 cup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
- 8 cups (2 quarts) homemade buttermilk
- If the quark is too thick and grainy, it can be thinned and smoothed by stirring in a little milk. You can use the whey from the quark, flavored with fruit juice, as a beverage or use it in baking. Store it in the refrigerator and use within 2 days.
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the buttermilk into a large ovenproof baking dish or Dutch oven with lid. Cover and place in the oven 8 to 12 hours.
2. Line a colander with a double layer of butter muslin and set over a large bowl. Pour the buttermilk into the cloth and cover with the ends of the butter muslin. Let buttermilk drain at room temperature for about 6 hours (after about 1 hour, weight the buttermilk by placing a plate on top to encourage the whey to drip through the muslin).
3. The curds in the cloth are the cheese (quark). Transfer to a medium bowl and cover and store the quark for 1 week in the refrigerator.
Irish folklore claims a glass of buttermilk will cure a hangover, and, when heated with a clove of garlic, buttermilk was sure to cure any variety of ailments.
According to American folklore, drinking buttermilk will immunize against poison oak and ivy.
Many pioneer women used buttermilk as a facial wash, believing the flecks of butter resulted in a smooth and creamy complexion.
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Excerpted from The Home Creamery © by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.