Friday, October 23, 2009

Quark Cream with Cranberry Curd

Quark is the one food item from Germany I miss the most, besides Bratwurst, of course. Quark is such a common item in Germany, it's something you always have in your fridge. It can be described as a fresh cheese, a curd, similar to frommage blanc.

Germans eat it for breakfast in muesli, in desserts and also savory on a slice of bread. And of course not to forget, the German style cheesecake is baked with quark. It makes the cheesecake a little more fluffy, but I also like the American cheesecake; they're just two different things.

When I first lived in California, I was hunting all over the place to find quark. Nowadays if you are lucky, you will find it in some stores, but the price is just really expensive. I am talking at least 10 times as much as you  would pay in Germany. So, you can imagine how happy I was when I found Meeta's post on making homemade quark. I make it every few weeks now, so I always have a supply on hand.

The quark cream I made is very versatile and can be used as a base for many desserts. Since I still had cranberries I made cranberry curd as a topping, but any other fruit will be good.

Quark Cream

1½ cups (400ml) quark (homemade or store bought)
¾ cup (200ml) whipping cream
1 package pure vanilla sugar or ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons sugar

Whisk the quark together with the vanilla. Whisk the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the quark and add sugar to taste.

Cranberry Curd
adapted from "How to be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson

makes about 3 cups

2½ cups (250g) cranberries
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (140ml) water
3½ tablespoons (50g) butter
¾ cup + 1 tablespoons (160g) sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Cook the cranberries with the water on low heat, cover until the cranberries pop open.

Puree the cranberries with a blender and pass through a sieve.

Put in a bowl over a pot of water, or a double boiler. Heat on low to medium temperature and add the butter and sugar.

Add the eggs to the mixture, stirring constantely. Be careful that the mixture is not getting to hot, or the eggs will curdle. It will take some time until the curd thickens. Your curd is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Let cool slightly before filling in jars. Keep in the fridge.

Fill the quark cream in glasses and top with a few tablespoons of the cooled cranberry curd.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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