Liptauer is an Austrian cheese spread seasoned with paprika, onion, caraway seeds, mustard, and capers. This recipe has Quark as the base, but cottage cheese or farmer’s cheese are occasionally used. This spread reminds me a bit of the Bavarian Obatzda. I served the cheese with toasted baguette slices, but this would also be perfect with soft pretzels, pumpernickel, rye bread, or even Pretzel Bread or Silserli.
Quark (translates to curds in German) is a fresh creamed cheese used in Central European cuisines. It is traditionally made with soured cows milk and without rennet or any added salt, though rennet is occasionally added today. It has a texture similar to Greek yogurt. I have seen Quark mentioned recently as a health food since it is low in sodium, lower in fat than cream cheese, but high in protein and other nutrients. In addition to Liptauer, it is often used in Austrian desserts like cheesecake and as a filling. I have been able to find it in specialty European markets and Whole Foods. I haven’t attempted it yet, but you can also make your own.
Liptauer will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
If you want to make this more like a dip instead of a spread, increase the sour cream to about 1/2 cup.
Liptauer (Austrian Paprika and Herb Cheese Spread)
Adapted from Neue Cuisine: The Elegant Tastes of Vienna: Recipes from Cafe Sabarsky, Wallse, and Blaue Gans
About 2 cups
1 cup Quark
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon sweet paprika (Hungarian)
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon chopped capers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely sliced chives
1 baguette, thinly sliced, crackers, pumpernickel, rye bread, soft pretzels, or other bread
Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl. Gradually add the quark, using a spoon to press it through the sieve and into the bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a medium bowl, beat the butter until light and smooth. Beat in the quark, sour cream, paprika, onion, caraway seeds, mustard, capers, salt, and pepper until thoroughly combined.
If you wish to unmold the cheese when serving, line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Otherwise, just use a small bowl. Add the cheese, cover, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and firm, 3 hours to overnight.
If using a baguette, arrange the thinly sliced bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven until lightly toasted.
Unmold the cheese onto a serving plate, removing the plastic coating, or serve from the bowl. Top with chives and serve with the toasted bread slices, crackers, or other bread.