Differently flavoured quark is served as simple dessert or snack, or eaten for breakfast here in Finland.
The flavouring used can be anything from fruits and berries to vanilla, chocolate, coffee, nuts, caramel, cream toffee, etc.
Quark mixtures are also used to fill and top many layer cakes, jelly rolls, cheesecakes and pies.
Picture on right: pineapple quark.
Like flavoured yogurts, various commercially made flavoured quark products are widely available in Finnish grocery stores, but homemade, additive-free fruit quarks are of course healthier and taste much better :-)
Instead of my favourites listed below, you can use any other fruits and berries of your choice, for example strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, cranberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, peaches, prunes, apricots, mango, papaya, passion fruit, bananas, apples, pears, kiwi and citrus fruits. Even canned or reconstituted dried fruit, jams, marmalades and compotes may be used, but using fresh, perfectly ripe fruit and berries naturally gives the best result.
If using sweetened fruit purees, compotes, jams, marmalades, etc, omit the sugar.
250 g smooth, soft quark
150 ml chilled cream
2 - 3 tbsp white or golden caster sugar
1 - 2 tsp vanilla sugar
about 200 g (or to taste) finely chopped or cubed fresh, ripe and sweet pineapple
about 200 - 400 ml (or to taste) fresh raspberries
about 200 - 400 ml (or to taste) fresh or frozen, thawed cloudberries
about 200 - 230 g (or to taste) rhubarb compote
a few pieces of pineapple, whole berries, sprigs of mint, lemon balm, etc
The fruit or berries may be either cut in small pieces, chopped, grated (eg apples and pears) or pureed (or cooked until softened or pureed and chilled, like rhubarb) before mixing in the quark. Berries with soft texture, like raspberries, cloudberries, etc, may also be added whole.
Pour the quark in a bowl and stir with a spoon until smooth and soft. Add the sugars and stir well to incorporate. Drain the chopped/cubed pineapple and stir in the quark. You may add a dash of the juices as well, but not too much so as not to make the mixture too runny.
If using raspberries or cloudberries, you can add them either whole or wholly or partially pureed in the quark. Sieve the puree, if you like to get rid of any seeds.
If using rhubarb compote or puree, simply stir it in the quark, tasting as you go, adding more until the flavour is suitable.
Picture on right: raspberry quark.
In another bowl, whip the cream until soft, but sturdy, peaks form. Gently fold the cream in the quark mixture and pour in a serving bowl or divide between individual dishes.
Garnish with fresh fruit, berries, etc, if you like, and serve. Store any leftover quark covered in refrigerator.
Serve the quark as a simple dessert, or have it for breakfast or lunch. You can also serve cold cereals or muesli with it.
For a healthy everyday snack (provided that you are using low-fat quark), you can diminish the amount of cream or leave it out altogether.
Recipe source: family recipe/traditional Finnish recipe.