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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

March 25, 2012 |  9:00 am

Crepesglennkoenig

This week, we explore the world of homemade cheese with a tutorial on how to make your own quark:

Take some milk, add a little acid and give the mixture time to do its thing — who would have thought homemade cheese could be this simple? What with all the equipment and specialized ingredients I'd read about, cheese making sounded as if it were better suited to a chemistry lab than to my tiny kitchen. That is, until I tried quark.

A creamy, fresh cheese, quark's curds come together to form something magical — rich with a gentle tang, it's spreadable, kind of a cross between sour cream and soft ricotta cheese. 

And it's easy to make: Bring a couple of cups of milk to a simmer over moderate heat, then let it come to room temperature. Whisk in some acid (typically buttermilk, though some recipes call for lemon juice) and leave the mixture at room temperature for a day or so until curds form and the mixture thickens. Strain it to remove the clear whey, and voilà! You've got cheese.

We include some quark-based recipes, like the filled crepes above (No quark? No worries! We include easy-to-find cheese substitutions with the recipes) and a savory quark tart with leeks, asparagus and bacon.

This week's recipes include:

When you try one of this week's recipes or any L.A. Times recipe, let us know! Upload a photo onto the "Our recipes, your kitchen" gallery to share your take on the recipe and tell us about yourself. Your photo will be posted online and may be selected to run in print with our weekly section.

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-- Noelle Carter
Twitter/noellecarter

Photo: Quark crepes with fresh strawberries. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

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