‘Quark?’ I hear you say – what on earth is that? Quark means ‘curd’ in German and is thought to have originated in Central Europe–in fact it has been made since the Iron Age!
Quark is a fresh, white cheese, very similar to Ricotta. It can be used in baking for both savoury and sweet pies, mousse and cheesecakes. It is also a good low-fat replacement for butter in scrambled eggs. The flavour is mild and milky; not surprising when you learn that it is made from pasteurised milk which has a starter culture added to it then some rennet to form the curd. It is then hung in cheesecloth to drain some of the whey off.
I discovered Quark last weekend at my favourite food store Farro Fresh on the North Shore here in Auckland. I love Farro because the store showcases the very best and finest of New Zealand food, which means you can always find something new and delicious to try.
I chatted to the maker of this Quark who was in the store demonstrating the product.
The Cheese Barn can be found on the Hauraki Plains of New Zealand in a little town called Matatoki. They specialise in certified organic cheeses and yoghurt’s that are gluten-free, have no artificial additives, antibiotics, growth hormones and no chemical sprays.
The ‘chief tester’ and I tried a little piece of this No-Bake Lemon Quark Cheesecake in the store and we loved it! I bought several tubs of the Quark and could not wait for the long weekend to make one for dessert 🙂
- 80-100g plain biscuits
- 50g melted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 200g soft cream cheese
- 500g quark
- Zest of 2 lemons & juice of 3 lemons
- 3-3 1/2 tsp gelatin
- Crush the biscuits, mix in the butter and the press not a 20cm spring form tin.
- Whisk the cream cheese, quark and icing sugar in a large bowl, and then fold in the zest.
- Soak the gelatine in the lemon juice, then melt on a low heat.
- Beat into the cheese mix – until smooth. Spoon in to the biscuit base.
- Chill until set (approximately 3-4 hours) in the refrigerator.
- Serve with chopped pistachio’s, and a dollop of cream
Now if you can’t source Quark, you can use Ricotta for this recipe however I do recommend that you hunt the stuff down – it has a smoother texture and a brighter flavour than ricotta.
I’m sold and will be restocking to ensure I can whip this cheesecake up again, and feel slightly guilt-free for eating dessert 🙂
Happy ‘Quark’ day xx