Breakfast Quark Recipe

Artisan dairy producer Andre Kogut, for the past 12 years, has been making premium organic cheeses at his Blue Bay dairy in Mornington, south of Melbourne. Products include the delicious and versatile European cottage style cheese Quark and (we think) one of the best-fermented foods in the nation: the health-giving fermented milk product Kefir.

Quark is a European naturally fermented cottage cheese that can be used in cheesecakes, baking, dips or simply spread on bread. Kefir is fermented milk and an amazing source of probiotics. Blue Bay Quark and Kefir from Mornington, Victoria are award-winning and made using family recipes that have been passed down through four generations.

Quark is one of the most nutritious and easily digested foods and is relatively low in fat. It contains valuable proteins, vitamins and minerals and is full of omega-3 fatty acids.

Because it is acidic kefir can be used in recipes where cultured buttermilk is called for. The lactic acid activates baking soda, making for fluffy pancakes and delicate crêpes.

Breakfast Quark

Serves 2-4

500g blue bay quark
Blue Bay European-style light sour cream, 2 tablespoons per plate
fresh blueberries, 5-8 per plate
Chunky loganberry and blueberry sauce (see recipe below) to garnish
Beechworth single origin honey, to drizzle

To Serve

Mix 125g of Blue Bay Quark with Blue Bay European-style light sour cream and spoon onto a serving plate. Top with blueberries, Chunky loganberry and blueberry sauce and a drizzle of honey.

Chunky Loganberry and Blueberry Sauce


Chunky Loganberry and Blueberry Sauce

500g fresh or frozen mixed berries; we used last season’s frozen loganberries and blueberries
Juice of half a lemon
4 tsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
10 2cm x 2mm strips of lemon zest
1 tbsp Chambord liqueur


1. Place berries in a small saucepan on low heat to thaw and cook down for approximately 5 minutes.

2. Add the lemon juice, sugar, Chambord, nutmeg, cinnamon and lemon zest. Reduce heat and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes to infuse flavours.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving.

Quark Vareniki with Blue Bay Quark

Artisan dairy producer Andre Kogut, for the past 12 years, has been making premium organic cheeses at his Blue Bay dairy in Mornington, south of Melbourne. Products include the delicious and versatile European cottage style cheese Quark. Vareniki are classic Slavic dumplings, usually filled with quark or fresh curd cheese, berries, mashed potatoes or other meatless ingredients. They are half moon in shape and are typically made using a yeast-free dough. The following recipe is designed to work well with Andre’s wonderfully textured Quark.

Classic Vareniki Dough

Makes approximately 30-40 individual vareniki.

This recipe is for a fluffy yet slightly dense vareniki texture. To the bite they are slightly al dente, unless over boiled. For lighter, fluffier results you can add a little buttermilk or kefir (50ml); or baking soda (1 tsp).

200ml lukewarm water
1 egg
Pinch salt
4 cups plain flour, plus additional flour for kneading and rolling


1. In a large mixing bowl add all ingredients and combine with a wooden spoon until a basic dough begins to form.

2. Turn out the dough mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand, adding only as much additional flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Continue to knead for a further 12 minutes (20 in total), working the dough to stretch glutens well.

3. On your work surface cover the dough with the upturned bowl and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes. While the dough is resting prepare the quark filling for the centre of your vareniki.

Quark Filling

500g Blue Bay Quark
1 egg
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
Pinch salt


In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients well.

Vareniki folding

Vareniki folding

Vareniki Folding and Cooking Method

1. Divide the dough into four portions and roll each portion into 3cm-thick logs.

2. Next cut the logs into small 2cm pieces.

3. On a floured work surface press each dough piece by hand (or using a rolling pin) into small flat circles, approximately 8cm in diameter and 2-3mm in thickness – fine enough to be delicate when eaten, but strong enough for folding in the quark filling.

4. Place 1 teaspoon of quark filling in the centre of each circle of dough. Fold dough over into a half-moon shape and seal edges a little section at a time, twisting each join at 45 degrees with fingertips to make a floral pattern.

Continue until all of your dough and filling is used up, setting aside the completed vareniki on a wooden board. Note: Vareniki can be frozen at this stage for cooking later if desired.

5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Add the vareniki in batches and cook until they float to the surface, approximately 3 minutes, slightly longer if from frozen. Continue cooking for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the vareniki with a slotted spoon and place in a colander to drain well.

To Serve

Blue Bay European-style light sour cream
50g melted butter

Serve vareniki topped with melted butter and Blue Bay European-style light sour cream. Fresh berries and/or homemade jam can be added as an optional extra.

Syrniki: Sweet cheese fritters with Blue Bay Quark

Syrniki are Russian fried quark (cheese) pancakes that are traditionally garnished with light sour cream, varenye (jam), honey or apple sauce. The cheese mixture may contain raisins for extra flavour. Melbourne’s Blue Bay Dairy quark cheese is the perfect ingredient for making these quick-as-a-flash breakfast recipe gems. They’re simply delicious!

Syrniki (seer-nee-kee) Sweet Cheese Fritters

Makes 12-14 medium size pieces

250g Blue Bay Quark Cheese, or drained cottage cheese
2 eggs
pinch of salt
50g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
½ tsp baking powder
100g plain flour, plus extra flour for dusting and rolling
100g unsalted butter for frying
fresh seasonal berries or other fruit jams and Blue Bay Kefir to serveicing sugar, to dust


1. Place the cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla bean paste into a large mixing bowl. Using a fork or spoon mix until well combined (no longer than 2-3 minutes). The mixture will be very sticky, however, don’t worry it is meant to be this way.

2. Using a soup spoon, scoop syrniki batter directly onto a clean and floured work surface. Then roll to coat with flour and flatten with your palm to form a patty. Repeat process with the remaining batter to make approximately 12-14 small patties.

3. Heat a nonstick or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. A one third of the butter (per cooking batch) allowing it to melt in the pan. Before frying, make sure the butter is hot by sprinkling a little bit of flour into it; if it sizzles, it’s hot enough.

4. Cook the syrniki pieces in batches 4-5 patties, for 1–2 minutes or until golden, then turn over and cook for a further 1–2 minutes or until golden and slightly puffed. The flour coating will make the outside slightly crispy while the mostly cheese filling will taste light and delicious.

To Serve

Dust the syrniki pieces with icing sugar and serve with seasonal berries or your favourite jam with a generous spoonful of Blue Bay Kefir.

Kefir Crêpes with smoked salmon, pickled onion, sour cream and herbs

Crêpes are not as complex to make as one might think.  These very thin and delicate French variations of the humble pancake can be  quickly and easily poured, flipped and served. This recipe using kefir, a traditionally fermented, non-homogenised yoghurt product that’s an amazing source of probiotics, is now available in most supermarkets. It makes preparing the crêpes batter a cinch. Gluten free flour as an alternative also works well with this recipe. 

Makes 16-20 crêpes

400ml Kefir (we preferKefir  from Blue Bay dairy)
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
⅔ tsp salt
300g plain flour (or gluten free)
⅔ tsp baking soda
200ml hot water, just off the boil
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Raw organic coconut oil for frying
50-100g melted butter


1. In a large mixing bowl add kefir, eggs, sugar and salt. With an electric mixer beat until well combined.

2. In a heatproof jug, add the hot water and baking soda together and mix well.

3. Immediately add water-baking soda mixture to the mixing bowl.

4. With the electric mixer set to a high speed, slowly add the flour a little at a time, mixing until a crêpe batter forms. The batter should be a thick, but pourable consistency. You can adjust the constancy of the batter using flour or warm water as required.

5. Set batter aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Small bubbles should appear at the top of the mixture.

6. Add sunflower oil to the batter and mix well with the electric beater for a further 2-3 minutes prior to pan frying crêpes. Note: Batter can be refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 1 day; whisk before using.

7. Heat a 30cm nonstick crêpe pan or skillet over medium to high heat. Lightly coat with coconut oil and melt. Add one third of a cup, medium-sized ladleful of batter to the pan and swirl to completely cover bottom of pan. Cook until underside of crêpe is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

8. Loosen edge of crêpe with a rubber spatula, then quickly flip. Cook for an additional minute. Slide crêpe out of pan and paint with melted butter and repeat with remaining batter. (Coat pan with additional coconut oil and melt as needed.)

Pickled Onion

1 white onion, finely sliced into rings
50ml water
Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


1. In a large mixing bowl add water, lemon juice, sugar and salt; mix together well.

2. Add onion rings to the bowl and continue to stir making sure the onion is wet and covered.

3. Leave in a cool place to pickle for one hour.

4. Drain onion from pickling juice, reserving a little – approximately 20-30ml.

5. In a glass jar add the pickled onion rings, extra virgin olive oil and the reserved pickling juice.

6. Mix together well and refrigerate with lid on prior to serving.

To Serve

Hot smoked whole salmon fillet, broken into small chunks
Pickled onion
Dill sprigs
Finely chopped parsley
Blue Bay European-style light sour cream
Cracked black pepper and salt if desired.

For each crêpe, add a generous amount of smoked salmon chunks topped with pickled onion pieces, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of herbs.
Roll crêpe tightly and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and dill sprigs.

Season to taste.

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