Serves a Crowd

Spiced Fig and Quince Flaugnarde

November 11, 2010
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Quince is one of my favorite heralds of autumn. I love keeping a bowlful of them on the dining room table—their fragrance fills the whole house. Figs, the last of which we're clearing off of our trees now, pair beautifully with the quince and in this dessert, they speak to this brief and happy time of the year when their seasons overlap.

Flaugnarde (or clafoutis if you prefer) offers a great backdrop for these two friends to strut their stuff. What I love about this dessert is that it's easy to prepare ahead of time and it's light enough to eat after a heavy holiday meal. And, best of all, it will fill the house with a heavenly scent that will put your dinner guests in a holiday mood straight away. Plus it's just fun to say "flaugnarde!"

Test Kitchen Notes

Poaching the quince was a fun project before the actual baking began. The aroma is heavenly. I think this is the best formula for poaching quinces that I have encountered. It was hard to stop snacking on them before placing them at the bottom of the ramekins. My flaugnardes actually took 50 minutes of baking time to finish, nice and golden brown and puffed up. Next time, I'd skip the sprinkling of cardamom sugar—it adds a matte finish over what is an attractive, glossy, surface, and the cardamom flavor is too assertive. I'd also try whole milk to lighten the custard. In all, a nice clafoutis with a sophisticated combination of quince and fig. A nice accompaniment would be vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise. —sftestcook

What You'll Need
  • Poached Quince
  • 4 ripe quince
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 to 6 cardamom pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 slices of fresh ginger
  • Flaugnarde Filling
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 8 fresh, ripe figs sliced lengthwise into 6 slices
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting baking dishes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  1. Peel and core the quince. Slice each quince into 8 to 10 slices, lengthwise.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 quart of water with all of the poaching ingredients. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Slip quince slices into the warm spice bath and poach for about an hour or until the quince is easily pierced by the tip of a paring knife.
  3. Remove poached quince from heat. You may prepare up to this point up to a week ahead—just store the quince in its syrup in an airtight container in the fridge.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. Butter 8 small, shallow baking dishes (the ones I used are 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep). Coat the bottoms and sides with granulated sugar. Note: you can make this in one large 9 by 13-inch pan instead, but add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and salt together. Continue beating and slowly sift in flour.
  7. Once the flour is fully incorporated (with no lumps), beat in heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  8. Arrange the quince slices on the bottom of each dish. Top with the fig slices arranged attractively.
  9. Pour the custard batter over the fruit, evenly distributing it evenly amongst the 8 dishes. The fig slices will just peep over the top.
  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard has set.
  11. Meanwhile combine coarse sugar with cardamom. When the flaugnardes come out of the oven, sprinkle the tops with this cardamom sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nutmeg3000
  • boulangere
  • vrunka
  • Sagegreen
  • monkeymom
I love experimenting in the kitchen and learning new techniques.

11 Reviews

Nutmeg3000 January 11, 2015
Found quinces, but figs were out of season so I added some fresh cranberries on top. I wasn't sure what the final consistency was supposed to be like, so I was unsure when they were actually done. I took them out when the tops were set, but it was too soon and found the insides to be uncooked. I put them back in until the tops were more consistently browned and an inserted knife came out clean. They were perfect and delicious. My guests enjoyed learning about a new dessert and trying quince for the first time. I used six ramekins and they were probably in the oven for an hour and 20 minutes.
vrunka January 30, 2015
wow, quince and cranberry -- what an unusual and creative combination! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
boulangere April 23, 2011
I write recipes for my local wine shop/deli for their monthly newsletter. I usually focus on one-stop-shop dinner sorts of things, but they have some lovely quince paste in their deli that is not selling. I'm thinking of using your lovely recipe as a starting point, with the following changes: use apples rather than quince in your heady poaching syrup, since figs are long out of season; whisk the quince paste into the cream mixture and proceed with the rest as you specify. I would be very grateful if you think this adaptation would work. Thank you!
vrunka April 24, 2011
Hello, so glad you found this recipe and like it enough to include it in your newsletter! I think that poaching apples would work fine -- just use a firm, tart apple (like Granny Smith) and reduce the poaching time to, maybe, 15-20 minutes. As for whisking in the quince paste, I'm not sure how that would work. In my experience, quince paste doesn't dissolve readily so I don't think you could incorporate it that way, but you could stir in some small chunks or slices and just let them be. That should work very well. It sounds delicious -- let me know how it turns out!
boulangere May 8, 2011
Thanks so much for your feedback and suggestions. I'll be trying it this week, and I'll let you know the results.
vrunka November 28, 2010
Thanks for the nice comments. And special thanks to sftestcook for the thoughtful review!
Sagegreen November 28, 2010
Really lovely. What a stunning photo, too!
monkeymom November 12, 2010
I love the combo of quince and figs!
luvcookbooks November 11, 2010
i luv quinces, too, will try this if i can find fresh figs for tgiving
gingerroot November 11, 2010
This sounds and looks amazing. What a beautiful photo.
TiggyBee November 11, 2010
This looks lovely!!