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4.67 from 6 votes

Quark- A Soft Cream Cheese

This simple to make soft cheese is versatile and has a shelf life of 2-3 weeks, which is fairly long for a fresh cheese!
Prep Time15 mins
wait time18 hrs
Total Time18 hrs 15 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: German
Servings: 28 oz

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk warmed to 85F.
  • 1/8 tsp mesophillic or flora danica freeze dried culture
  • OR 1/4 cup whey saved from a batch of cheese using one of the above cultures (the whey keeps well for a few weeks in the fridge)
  • 2 drops animal rennet diluted in 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Add your culture to your warmed milk- if its powdered, sprinkle on top and let sit 5 minutes before stirring in. If its whey, just stir it in.
  • Put your rennet into the water to dilute it, then pour it into the milk and stir well. Its okay if you accidentally get 3 or 4 drops of rennet, but go slow and try to get it as close as possible.
  • Cover your milk and let it sit around 12 hours, or overnight. I usually average 14 hrs by the time I get around to dealing with it the next morning.
  • Cut your curds in a 1 inch grid- to do so, cut one inch strips in one direction, then the other to make an approximate grid. Let it sit a couple minutes, and get your cheese cloth ready.
  • I prefer to use cotton muslin fabric, actual cheesecloth is awful! You'll need about an 18" square or bigger to strain a gallon of milk. I drape it in a bowl or pot, and then pour the curds into the cheese cloth.
  • Take the corners and tie it up, then hang the cheese, overtop of the bowl/pot, in whatever fashion you can mcgyver. From a pot rack...from a cupboard knob...on a wooden spoon hung between two cupboard handles.
  • Let it strain 6-8 hrs. If you're making bigger batches you'll need on the longer side. On the shorter side yields a softer cheese. If you want, you can gently stir the curds within the cloth a couple times, but its not neccessary.
  • When its done hanging, take the cheesecloth down, dump it into a bowl and stir in your salt. If you're using a premixed seasoning like ranch dip mix, dont add additional salt.
  • The salt acts as a preservative so unless you plan to use it within a day or two, I highly recommend salting it.
  • Put it into a container in the fridge, and get excited to use it!