Quark is similar to French fromage frais and the queso fresco made in the Iberian Peninsula and in some Latin American countries, but is distinct from Italian ricotta because ricotta (Italian "recooked") is made from scalded whey. Quark is somewhat similar to yogurt cheeses such as the South Asian chak(k)a, the Arabic labneh, and the Central Asian suzma or kashk, but while these products are obtained by straining yogurt (milk fermented with thermophile bacteria), quark is made from soured milk fermented with mesophile bacteria. We hope you enjoy this unusual, but very practical, method of making 'Quark in a Bottle'.
- One or Two litres whole or skim milk, in a milk bottle.
- Two drops of calcium chloride per litre of milk, diluted in 1 tablespoon of non chlorinated water.
- One dose of Mesophilic Soft Curd Starter Culture
- One 90 cm square of tight weave cloth for making cheese.
- Large stainless steel or enamel colander.
- Piece of string.
- Somewhere to hang your cheese to drain.
- Pour out 1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk from your milk bottle.
- Place the bottle of milk into pot of hot water to heat to 31° C.
- Add the calcium chloride solution, and culture, close the bottle, and gently shake.
- Keep the bottle warm (over 22° C) for 24 hours.
- Once the milk has reached 31°C, and the culture has been added, I use an aquarium heater to keep the water surrounding the milk bottle warm. You have now successfully made Buttermilk, which can be stored in the refrigerator.
- Complete your Quark by lining a colander with your tight weave cheese making cloth. Gently pour the buttermilk into the lined colander and allow to drain for a few minutes. Tie the corners of the cloth together to form a bag, and hang using the string, to drain for 12 hours, or until your cheese is the desired consistency. Remove the cheese from the cloth and place in an air tight container and store in the fridge.
Tips: For a firmer cheese try placing the bag between two cheese boards, after it has drained for 12 hours. The weight of the boards alone will press some additional whey from the cheese. How long you press the cheese between the boards, and whether you use a small weight on top of the board, will be determined by your personal taste in regards to the texture you are trying to create. This cheese can also be made in stainless steel pot.