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Quatre Épices Spice Mixture

Quatre Épices Recipe

Quatre Épices is a favorite in French and Arabian cooking, and is used to flavor sausages, soups, stews, pates and vegetables but, gives a exciting kick to fruit desserts, too.

Quatre épices literally means "four spices" and is more often than not made with roughly equal amounts of 4 to 5 spices but the exact proportions of the blend is often tailored to suit the chefs taste.

In French cooking, Quatre épices is typically used in soup, ragout and pot-cooked dishes, vegetable preparations and charcuterie (a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats), such as paté, sausage and terrine.

With rich meats such as dark beef casseroles and game cooked in red wine, savory quatre épices adds an opulent peppery heat flavor. Use approximately one teaspoon of savory quatre épices for each pound of meat.

While the savory spice version is by far the more renowned, the lesser known sweet Quatre Épices adds rich depth and subtle character to the flavor of sumptuous cakes and puddings.

Savory Quatre Épices

Yield:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp white peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp ground ginger

Directions:
In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients. Grind until mixture becomes a fine powder.

(Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)

Savory Quatre Épices

Cinnamon variation

Yield:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp white pepper
  • 2-1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:
In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients. Grind until mixture becomes a fine powder.

(Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)

Sweet Quatre Épices

Add to fruit desserts, cakes and puddings.

Yield:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp allspice
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (opional)

Directions:
Place all of the ingredients in a spice mill or blender and process until evenly ground.

(Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)