After attending a Lake District Dairy Co event a few months ago, I was clearly on the Quark radar, as they got in touch with me to see if I’d like to take part in a ‘Merry Quarkmas’ Christmas recipe challenge: to make a naughty but nice Christmas pudding recipe using Quark.
As I do genuinely like Quark, and it formed a major part of my repertoire when I lost weight with Weightwatchers, I was happy to take part: lots of my cooking is based on taking inspiration from standard recipes and then tweaking the recipes to make them healthier, easier and responsible for less washing up, so I felt like the challenge was right up my street.
But what to make? Personally, I find that the acidity in the Quark does not marry well with chocolate and caramel flavours. I have always disliked toffee and chocolate yoghurts: I just don’t think they work – they taste quite synthetic to me, and you always need more sweetness to counteract the sourness of the yoghurt. That’s why I am also not a huge fan of the vanilla flavour Quark: it just doesn’t taste quite right to me.
So fruit seemed like a good pairing for the natural Quark in this instance, but I still wanted a pudding which would be festively indulgent. I debated making a kind of Eton Mess with mulled fruits and meringue stirred into the Quark (which could also be frozen to make an ice cream) but I thought it would involve a bit of effort to mull the fruit, and the last thing you want at Christmas is to give yourself more work.
Then I saw a jar of lemon cheese in my fridge, which I’d bought in Yorkshire. It’s basically a lemon curd, and it occurred to me that stirred into Quark it would probably work very well. Topping some trifle sponge (another low fat ingredient) soaked with limoncello, I definitely had the makings of a festive pud. So that’s what I did.
1 tub of natural Quark, 1/2 jar of lemon curd, two trifle sponges, limoncello to taste
Firstly break your trifle sponges into individual glass dishes (I used martini glasses), and splash them liberally with limoncello.
While the booze is soaking into the trifle sponge, spoon some lemon curd into the Quark tub and gently mix it so that you have a ripple effect. I used two large tablespoons of lemon cheese in the Quark which was perfect for my palate: not too sweet with a tang from the lemon curd.
Simply top the boozy trifle sponge with your lemon Quark mixture and serve. You could add some raspberries or sliced almonds to the top of the trifle as a garnish, but we thought it was perfect as it was, apart from a Stroopwaffel from my last foodie penpal parcel dipped into the top of the Quark.
As you will have seen from previous posts, my mum and I are both equally greedy and like nice puddings if we’re going to have something sweet. We both thought the trifles were deliciously light and fresh, and would be perfect to follow a heavy Christmas meal. My mum even said they would be ideal for a dinner party pudding! They certainly look like they took more effort than a few minutes to create, and I’ll be making them again.