Quark, a fresh, set cheese with a slight acidic taste, is made by straining warm soured milk.  It is traditionally made with just milk, as opposed to cottage cheese which has rennet added or ricotta which is made from milk whey.  As well as a delightful accompaniment to fruit, quark can also be used in cheesecakes, as a filling for crepes and as an ingredient in bread dough and pastry.

Serves 4 as part of a breakfast or brunch buffet
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

200g (approx 1½ cups) seedless watermelon, rind removed
200g (approx 1½ cups) rockmelon, rind and seeds removed
2 small figs, halved
120g quark
Basil or mint leaves, to serve
¼ cup (35g) roughly chopped pistachios, lightly toasted

Sparkling Spiced Drizzle
½ cup (125ml) water
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
1/3 large red chilli, deseeded and sliced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
60ml Swift sparkling wine

  1. For Sparkling spiced drizzle, combine caster sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool before using. While the syrup is cooling, pound chilli, ginger, black pepper and vanilla bean paste in a pestle and mortar until smooth.  Add 1 tablespoon sugar syrup and sparkling wine and mix until combined.  (The leftover sugar syrup can be used in cocktails, dressings etc.)
  2. Cut each wedge of watermelon and rockmelon into slithers.  Place a slither of each watermelon and rockmelon and a fig half into individual serving dishes, drizzle with Sparkling spiced drizzle and top with a spoonful of quark, torn basil leaves and pistachios.

Lyndey’s Note: If melons are out of season, other fruit such as berries, pears, pineapple or stone fruit can be substituted.