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Quark Cherry Pie

Quark Cherry Pie

With a big tub of quark in my fridge, I wanted to do something special with it. Quark is low in fat and high in protein, and it is a very versatile baking ingredient because it is stable in the oven (although it is good when eaten plain, too). I decided to turn mine into a pie, a variation on cheesecake.

This pie has two layers of quark cheesecake sandwiching a sweet filling made with cherries. I used jarred cherries, but frozen and defrosted cherries will work very well, too. Compared to a regular cheesecake, this pie is very easy to make. It takes minutes to mix it up and doesn’t have a long baking time. There is no need for a water bath or any of the other precautions that you might take with a cheesecake to get the pie to turn out well. Plus, quark is low in fat so you can feel pretty good having seconds when the pie is ready to eat.

Flavor-wise, the pie tastes like a cherry pie cheesecake, with a rich consistency and a very creamy texture. It’s not as heavy as a cheesecake because quark has that slight tang to it, much like plain yogurt or sour cream, that gives it a slightly fresher taste. It also makes it a great background for the fruit filling, allowing the great flavor of the cherries to stand out. The pie is good at room temperature, but I preferred it when it had been chilled before serving.

Quark is a bit of an unusual ingredient in the US, and while you might be able to find it at some specialty stores in your area (especially if they have a lot of gourmet/European baking ingredients), you also might not be able to find it. If you can’t, fromage frais would work pretty well as a substitute, although it may be slightly thicker than quark typically is. If you live in Europe, you probably won’t have a problem finding quark. Otherwise, keep an eye out because this low fat cheese is great for baking and will probably catch on even more in the US over the coming months.

Quark Cherry Pie, whole pie

Quark Cherry Pie
1 9-inch graham cracker pie crust, prebaked
16-oz quark
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 cups jarred cherries (or frozen and defrosted)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp allspice

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl, cream together quark, sugar, vanilla and salt until well-combined. Beat in egg until mixture is smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together cherries, brown sugar and allspice. Let stand to 5-10 minutes.
Spoon half of the quark mixture into your pie crust. Spoon the cherry mixture into an even layer on top of that. Carefully spread the remaining quark mixture over the top of the fruit, lightly covering the whole pie.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until pie is set and only jiggles slightly when the pan is gently shaken.
Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the pie until ready to serve.

Serves 8-10

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  • Daria
    April 23, 2010

    Recently, Costco (at least in Dedham, MA) has begun selling Quark made by Tnuva (an Israeli company). It comes in a tub and is sold near the other cheeses.

    Hope this helps someone else.

  • Cheryl Cormier
    April 23, 2010

    I have never heard of quark! Neat alternative!

  • Milly
    April 24, 2010

    Quark is pretty common in English supermarkets, which is good! This looks absolutely yummy 🙂

  • sfm
    April 24, 2010

    Quark is largely enjoyed in Northern/Eastern European countries as well – in Finland here we rarely make cheesecake but quark pies are very common. It makes a good dessert on its own, add a little whipped cream, berries (raspberries, blueberries) or fruit (peaches, pineapple, chopped), something to sweeten it (honey, sugar) and it’s done!

  • Jim
    April 24, 2010

    Wow that sounds delicious- I’ll have to try it!

  • Kristi
    April 25, 2010

    Thanks for this awesome recipe! I made it last night and used frozen (thawed) cherries and the flavor was amazing! I did have a lot of excess juice in the pie from the cherries though so the texture was a bit off (layer in middle was a bit runny). I am definitely going to make this again though and use the canned cherries. Do you think fresh cherries would work well in this? Our local cherry festival is coming up and I’m dying for a chance to use beautiful fresh cherries! 🙂 Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes, your blog is my #1 go-to for desserts!!

  • Faine
    April 26, 2010

    Thanks for highlighting these Quark recipes. I’ve always seen the stuff and wondered what in God’s name I was supposed to do with it. Apparently, make delicious pies.

  • k20swap
    April 30, 2010

    This is interesting, looks good

  • Nicole M.
    May 4, 2010

    I made this over the weekend and I had a few suggestions, if I may. 1) I think you need to add to the directions that they cherries should be drained. I already see in the comments that someone had issues with this. 2) When I ran to the store, I only had the list of ingredients. I wasn’t sure whether I needed 2 16 oz. quark containers or just 16 oz. You might want to phrase that differently in the ingredient list. I would up buying 4 8 0z. containers which is cool – I can try this again! 3) I found the pie very tasty, but thought it could use a bit more sugar/flavor. I think next time, we’re going to try this with blueberries and add some lemon rind to the batter. Thanks for the recipe – always looking for a “light” pie and this was definitely very refreshing on the first hot days of May!

  • Tamara
    June 20, 2010

    Mmmm, I never thought of blueberries but that would be very good. I made this for a Father’s Day dessert as I’m always trying to make healthy desserts that don’t taste healthy. It was really good and I got several compliments on it. I do not like the flavor of Quark on its own but it was great in this dessert – gave it cheesecake flavor without the heaviness. I used a sugar free (sweetened with Splenda) canned cherry pie filling but as someone mentioned above, the middle layer didn’t really set. This made for rather messy presentation as the pieces didn’t stay together. Taste was great though. I also used Splenda granular, Splenda brown sugar and egg substitute to make it even healthier. I will definitely try this one again.

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