A propos: How to make curd cheese (German Quark)

Being in the US sometimes confronts me with certain ‘food shortages’. These days you find a huge variety of international food in the grocery stores but some of my favorites and essentials do not exist. The most recent shortage I came across is curd cheese (similar to cream cheese but not as rich and in its texture fluffier like cottage cheese). In German, we call it Quark or Topfen, and it’s an essential ingredient in cheesecakes.

Always on the hunt for a tasty sweet treat, I find American-style pastry often way too heavy and sweet. For example, American cheesecake looks like European cheesecake but it tastes a lot different. My perception is that cakes, in general, are less sugary in Europe than they are in the US. I have seen icing on cakes for the first time in the US and was overwhelmed by how full I was after a regular cupcake.

Last week I decided to go for an experiment. I want to make a German-style cheesecake. And since I couldn’t find the so needed curd cheese, I also decided to prepare this one myself. And ta-ta, here it is:

It took me a few minutes on google and 48h to do. Here is how it works:


12 cups of whole milk (roughly 1/2 gallon or 2 liters)

3 tablespoons of creamy butter (can be both sweet or salty, I took salty and could barely taste it)



You need to sterilize all your cooking utensils, including the kitchen, towel. Don’t forget to pour boiling water over your spoons, forks, cups, bowls, boxes, etc. before using them


1) Heat one cup of milk on the stove but don’t bring it to a boil. Stir it while heating it up. If you have a thermometer at hand: The milk should be between 158 and 163 degrees Fahrenheit (70-75 degrees Celsius). This is to sterilize the milk.

2) Let the milk cool down to room temperature and once that is done, stir in the butter.

3) Put the milk-butter mix into a bowl with a closely fitting lid (Tupperware) and leave it in a warm area (75-82 F) over night (12h).

4) After the 12 hours you can either continue making your Quark or store the mixture in the fridge for a few days.

5) On day 2, bring the remaining milk (11 cups) to room temperature. Take a bigger bowl with a closely fitting lid and mix both the milk and the butter-milk liquid together.

6) Now comes the longest part: Close the box and set aside for 24h in an even warmer area (77-90 F/25-30 C). This is very easy in the summer time, just leave the box on your porch. In the winter time, I suggest to use the oven (probably at the lowest possible temperature for 1-2h).

7) After 24h, you are good to go: Whey and curd cheese have separated and all you need to do now is to drain the Quark. For this, you need a linen or cotton kitchen towel and a sieve. Simply poor the Quark into the towel and together with the sieve and a container underneath put it in the fridge for a few hours so that it can fully drain.

Et voilà, this should make you at least a pound of Quark. Wait for my next post to find the cheesecake recipe and see if the Quark was any good ;)

I found this source the most helpful for making the Quark:


You can find other ideas here:




One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.