Curd Cheese (Russian Tvorog)

Curd Cheese (Russian Tvorog)

All you need to make a delicious fresh cheese is a large pot, instant-read thermometer (or a candy thermometer) and the buttermilk. The best cheese is usually made from full-fat buttermilk but it can be substituted for low-fat variety. Don’t use no-fat buttermilk though.

The tvorog is used in numerous ways in Russian cuisine. That’s why I often double or triple the quantity of the buttermilk. This fresh cheese also makes a suitable substitute for Italian ricotta.

Makes about 1 lb of cheese


  • ½ gallon buttermilk


Pour the buttermilk in a large pot. Heat the buttermilk over medium heat until it reaches 160 F, stirring occasionally. Do not let the buttermilk boil or the curd cheese will be very tough. The whole process usually takes about 20-25 minutes depending on the heat you are giving. Check the temperature frequently after 15 minutes. Right after the buttermilk heated to the desired temperature take it from the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it cool to room temperature.

Put a damp cheesecloth in a strainer and drain the curd cheese. The longer it sits in the strainer the drier it gets. So, don’t drain the cheese for too long (unless the recipe you need it for specifies so). Drain it until the weigh stops dripping, for about 1 hour. Put the cheese in an air tight container and refrigerate or eat it right away.

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6 Responses to “Curd Cheese (Russian Tvorog)”

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe, I never thought to try to make this but I am making it today, I am Polish, we also call this Farmers cheese and I love using it in cheesecakes and as a filling(sweetened)for crepes. Will let you know how it turns out!

  2. I’m bookmarking this one too. So you can use kefir instead of buttermilk? I made some kefir just last night!

  3. Thank you so much for the recipe, it really works. In Slovakia we call this cheese “tvaroh”.

  4. Wow, ya nekogda ne podumala bi samoi zdelat’ tvorog.

  5. Tvarog- my favorite! I recently re-introduced it back into my diet and I don’t know why on earth I ever stopped eating it in the first place!
    I personally love it whipped up with yogurt and then sprinkle granola on top for breakfast, yum. Syrniki were also a staple growing up…wow I truely realize how blessed I am having a russian mother! :)
    I would love to see you post a recipe featuring one of your favorite ways of using tvorog!
    Kind Regards

  6. Just made it today. In two hours I got a great cheese with an amazing subtle flavor. love it!

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