As Jadwiga Lutostanska, from Szczecin, Poland, taught Lindsay Sterling in Brunswick, Maine, November 2015.
Note: Twarog is a fresh, cultured cheese that is great for filling pierogis; eating on toast with jam; filling crepes; and eating on toast with tomatoes and herbs. This recipe makes enough for making the cheese-potato pierogi filling. You can quadruple the amounts here to make enough for my recipe for sweet cheese pierogis. If you do, you'll likely need an extra large pot, or you can split the large amount between two pots.
Cooking time: 40 minutes (+ over night)
Makes: 3/4 cup
- 6 cups whole milk
- 6 Tbsp plain yogurt (I used Faye 2%)
1. In the evening, heat milk in a large pot until just before boiling. Stir in yogurt. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit over night in a warm location between 70 and 80 degrees F. If it is winter and your house temperature drops below seventy, you can insulate the warm pot with a coat or blankets so that it stays warm for a long time.
2. In the morning, heat the yogurt/milk mixture again to just before boiling and keep it at that temp (without boiling) until the cheese curdles (separates into solids and liquid), about twenty minutes.
3. Line a bowl with a large piece of cheese cloth (big enough to gather into a sac shape around the whey). Pour the curds and whey onto the cheese cloth. Gather the cloth into a sac around the curds and twist just above the curds so that the fabric tightens around the curds and squeezes all the moisture out of the cheese.
4. Jadwiga likes to run her cheese through a meat grinder to make the texture more uniform. I tend skip this step and love how the pierogis come out.