How To Do Homemade quark

Estonian Quark. Kohupiim

t’s impossible to write a blog about Estonian food without talking about quark. To be honest, I’m not quite sure whether should I say ”quark”, ”curd” or ”Fromage blanc”.

The quark in every country has a different acidity, texture and consistency due to the processing of the product.

Quark is not
.. ricotta. ricotta. Ricotta is made from whey, which gives the cheese its specific taste and texture.
… cream cheese. Cream cheese is usually a salty soft product made from cream and milk. It has a different consistency, texture and acidity.  Usually in cream cheese has added salt
… mascarpone. Mascarpone is not a fermented product. Protein is curdled with acid.

Estonian quark is fat-free, made from skimmed milk and mesophilic starter. The latter means that the quark is fermented at a low temperature.

If you have children, don’t hesitate to ask them to join the process. Making quark is fun and educating. You can learn a lot about food chemistry, cooking, health and fermentation!

Homemade Quark. Kohupiim.

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light, homemade natural quark for several dishes

Estonian Quark. Kohupiim


  • 1-litre ” milk”
  • From 1 litre milk, you receive ca 200 g quark.

    What to use:

    • skimmed milk + ca 150 g sour cream
    • kefir
    • fermented milk
    • yoghurt. But! Be sure, that yoghurt is not consisted thickeners or stabilizers

    NB! DO NOT use products with signs UHT (ultra-high temperature), ESL (extended self-life), aseptic, thermalized… You need living bacteria and natural product.


    1.  You need: hot water bath thermometer thigh sieve and (gauze) cloth for straining And patience 2.  Pour ” milk” into a pot, and put a pot into a hot water bath. The ideal temperature is 55 C- 65 C. Water bath is not necessary. And if you want result quicker (for example you making lesson for kids:)), do not use water bath but make quark directly on the stove and use a higher temperature. Higher temperature gives you less curd, but you get this quicker.
  1. For better result stir as little as possible, and if, then very carefully
  2. Quark is ready when has formed clumps and whey has separated. It takes ca 40 minutes.
  3. Pour quark through a sieve, to separate whey

Head isu!


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6 thoughts on “How To Do Homemade quark

  1. Dear Ruta,
    Thanks a lot for the recipe. It nice to be able to find Estonian recipes, when I miss my “second homecountry” too much. 🙂
    I’m not sure what you mean by fermented milk though. I thought kefir was fermeted? Or is it buttermilk? Could you tell me what it is called in Estonian?


    1. Thank you for comnent.
      Fermented milk = hapendatud piim. I mean, you can use everything- sour milk, kefir, buttermilk, skimmed milk , yoghurt. For quark is important to have living bacteria. And of course taste depends on raw material.
      Originaly ( i am working for dairy company ) quark has made from skimmed milk adding bacteria. At least in Estonia you can not buy bacteria from store. So, it would be easy to have bacteria allready in.
      I have done quark at home from kefir and sour milk. And both were great 🙂
      If you have more questions let me know ! 🙂


  2. Hello. I am currently trying to use your recipe as a guide for making kohupiim with a dried mesophilic culture.
    If it forms a film on top, is that bad? Should I stir that in?
    Also, how should I store it?
    Thank you!


    1. Yes you should stir. How to store? in a normal refrigerator should be stored for about a week. But if the shelf life is too long, bake the curd cake (then you heat the curd by baking).
      I hope everything works out. Happy New Year!


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