Sunday, 24 May 2020 11:01

    Making some Quark

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    Quark is a popular cheese in Germany, and for good reason. It's one of the easiest cheeses to make, it offers a higher than average yield, and it's delicious. If that wasn't enough, it's ready to eat within days, instead of weeks, months, or even years.

    How would I describe quark?

    Spreadable like cream cheese (particularly if it has been blended), but with a slightly tangy yoghurt flavour. Quark is a "personal taste" thing. Some people prefer differing temperatures, differing degrees of smoothness, some people leave it for longer than others to get a more noticeable flavour from it. Some people like such a soft curd that it's more like yoghurt in texture than cheese.. however, drain it for longer and it'll be thicker. Some recipes offer optional cultures, such as lipase, or extra varieties of mesophilic culture... so I'm going to sum it up by saying... make it as you see fit.

    Why did I make quark?

    I have been making a very respectable amount of cheese of late. However, all of it has been at the "harder" end of the cheese spectrum. As such, many of them won't be ready until late this year, next year, or even early 2022.

    One of the most frequent questions that I get asked in cheese making, is "How do you restrain yourself, knowing full well that there's a ton of delicious cheeses aging nearby for so long?".

    The answer comes in two parts.

    1. While many cheeses will suit some people better when they're "young", however some cheeses just aren't the same if you don't let them age properly. So with that in mind, I know that some cheeses will taste better if I leave it for the full duration.
    2. I can make fresh cheeses pretty easily, and that's enough to get me through my weaker cheese-craving moments.

    There are plenty of instructions on how to make quark online. Unsurprisingly, cheese sites will generally encourage the method that uses cheese cultures (as I tend to use), while others use more easily available ingredients as a source of culture such as buttermilk.

    If you're a cheese-culture enthusiast, try:

    For those who don't want to order cheese cultures, or prefer a video format...

     Now I can't say for certain that the flavour will be identical from the different methods, but they should create a delicious result in either case.

    Quark is a cheese that has one of the longest culturing times I can think of. You add your ingredients, then usually allow it to culture for between 16-32 hours. (depending on the recipe) at room temperature... which generally means 18-25 Celsius (64-77F). However I've seen recipes go as high as 32 Celsius (90F). Then simply scoop slices of curds into a tightly-woven cheese cloth (or something similar) in a colander or cheese mould/basket. Let it drain at ambient for 24 hours (keeping insects/pets/grubby humans away) then put it into the storage container of your choosing. (Usually tupperware, jars, etc... as long as they have a sealable lid). The cheese should last for about 5-7 days in the fridge.

    It's a fantastic spread on toast, it goes well on cereal, it goes well with mashed potatoes, lasagne, fruit, and anywhere cream cheese and/or yoghurt is usually found.

    Read 452 times Last modified on Monday, 25 January 2021 12:48

    Wayward Ham

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