Monday, March 2, 2009

Quark Wars, Episode Three: The Home Team Triumphs!

Spread on Boston brown bread, the lemon quark makes a great breakfast or even a light lunch. I'm eating it for snacks, too, so puffed up in my own success am I.

Here's the finished recipe so you can try making it without all the hassle. It's better that way, all triumphant glow and no retreats to bed.

Pam's Lemon Quark

½ gallon whole milk
Juice from 4-5 lemons, plus very finely grated zest from 3-4 of them (the amount is a taste preference)
1 scant tsp sugar
1 pot large enough to hold ½ gallon of milk
1 pot large enough to hold most of the ½ gallon of milk
1 clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth large enough to cover the strainer and lap over the edges
1 strainer, preferably fairly small in diameter that will sit securely on the smaller pot
1 bowl for mixing the flavorings into the cheese

In the larger pot, scald the milk until small bubbles form around the edge of the pot and the milk is hot but not boiling. Add about 5-6 tablespoons of lemon juice to the hot mixture – you will know when you have added enough as white curds will form immediately, separating from the greenish whey. If you don't see this dramatic change, add more lemon juice.

Pour the hot liquid through the towel- or cheesecloth-lined strainer, capturing the curds and allowing the whey to drain down into the pot below. Gather the ends of the towel or cheesecloth together and suspend, if you can – this will hasten the draining. When the draining stops, the quark is ready for the next step. (Some recipes advocate squeezing the towel at this point to get rid of more whey but I found that if you don’t, you have about the right amount of moisture for the next step).

When the quark has drained to desired consistency (about 15 minutes? - this depends on the thickness of your towel), transfer it into a bowl, add more lemon juice to taste (about 3 tablespoons, but I like mine tangy), the scant teaspoon of sugar, the lemon zest and enough of the whey to moisten if you need more moisture. Using a hand mixer, beat the curds until they are fairly smooth and all the ingredients are mixed in, roughly the consistency of yogurt. (If you like a smoother texture, I think you could use a blender or put it in a food processor, but I haven't tried this). Taste and adjust for lemon/sugar balance, spread on bread or fresh fruit and enjoy! It yields about a cup of tasty spread. Keeps well in the refrigerator for about five days.



Blogger Greg said...

If at first you don't succeed. brown bread is a fine vessel for your cheese.

Monday, March 02, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, right on!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009  

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