German quark cheese with bread German quark cheese with bread Quark cheese is popular in Germany, Eastern Europe, Russia and Israel. It's great as a spread or as an ingredient in cheese-based desserts like cheesecake or tarts. (Photo: ChristophTT / Shutterstock)

Have you heard of quark cheese? Here's how you can make it yourself

This soft, creamy cheese is a delicious ingredient in cheesecake, and it's surprisingly easy to make at home.

If you think cheesemaking is better left to the most patient, skilled dairy farmers and milk maids in the land, you haven't been acquainted with quark cheese. This is a cheese that's so easy to make, you'll wonder why you didn't try it earlier. What's more, you probably have the ingredients for it in your kitchen already. And you definitely have the skills.

The name might sound more like a product the Starship Enterprise took along on its maiden voyage, but quark cheese actually has much more earthly origins. It's popular across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, much of Scandinavia, many Slavic countries, and parts of the Mediterranean region, including Israel. It's creamy, soft and subtle in flavor, often likened to mascarpone, farmer's or cottage cheese. Some bakers swear by it as an ingredient in cheesecake.

quark cheese cheesecake with fruit topping.Quark cheese is cheesecake's best kept secret. (Photo: Everything/Shutterstock)

Making this cheese requires no fancy equipment, no hard-to-find grocery items, and only a little bit of patience. It's even got a fan in Noelle Carter, a food writer with the Los Angeles Times, who admits she was intimidated by the thought of making cheese. But she said that once she tried it, she realized how easy it is. She's convinced the homemade version of this cheese lends a depth you just can't get from the store-bought varieties.

"The cheese just lent this amazing richness, but you got that nice bright tang," Carter told The Splendid Table in 2013. "As heavy as the tart might have been, it still had this lightness to it because of the tang from the cheese. It was just wonderful."

Here's the full audio of Carter's exploration into the world of quark cheese, with simple instructions on how to make this delicious cheese yourself, via Splendid Table host Lynne Rossetto Kasper:

Or, if you're more of a visual learner, here's a handy video of New Zealand-based self-sufficiency expert Carolann Murray preparing her own version of quark:

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