Quatre Epices - The Classic, Traditional
French Cooking Blend of Four Spices

Quatre epices is a traditional spice blend used in French cooking. And as the name suggests, it's a simple combination of four ingredients that can be made in minutes. The French will often use it to season and flavour traditional recipes such as soups, ragouts, roulades, terrines and pates. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my recipes)

What You'll Need:  (makes about 3 tablespoons)

2 tbsp of mixed black and white peppercorns (or 2 tbsp of either)
2 tsp ginger powder 
1 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp whole cloves

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Grind the peppercorns and cloves
  • Once ground add to a bowl
  • Finally, add the ginger and nutmeg powders to the bowl and combine thoroughly

That's it!

Store in a cool place in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making more.

Note: If you have time you can dry toast the peppercorns and cloves for a few minutes prior to grinding. The heat releases the most fabulous aromas and flavours which will make your mix (and food) even tastier! Click here to read more about this highly recommended cooking technique. (Link opens in new window)

Ingredient Note: I use whole peppercorns and cloves for this recipe as once they are ground they will add the best flavours. If you don't have whole, just use pre-ground and reduce the amounts by half. So for 2 tablespoons of peppercorns you use 1 tablespoon of pre-ground pepper. Reduce the cloves likewise and stir in with the other powder when making.

Quatre EpicesHomemade Quatre Epices

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above recipe. If you
enjoyed it, you can click the subscribe button in the bottom
right corner in the video, OR click the link below the video...

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Why You Should Make Your Own French Seasonings

It's easy and convenient to pop to the store of course and pick up a jar of seasoning; but I do highly recommend you try the recipe above yourself...

Here's why...

  • More flavour than store-bought blends that will be transferred to your French cooking
  • Depending on what you're buying, commercial flavpurings may contain filler ingredients to bulk them up: cheap chili powder, processed salt and husks for example
  • Whilst there will be a best before date, it's unlikely there will be a date of manufacture. It may have been sitting in the store for months, slowly losing its flavour and all-round goodness!
  • If you're able to source organic ingredients your quatre √©pices will be free of pesticides and GMO's! Not to mention they'll be free of artificial stuff, colours, additives or preservatives etc. 

After Making Your Homemade Quatre Epices You May Enjoy...

Homemade Creole
Seasoning - For an
Authentic Taste of

Ras el Hanout - The
Complex Traditional
Blend Enjoyed in

A Collection of 
Hot, Mild and Fiery
Chili Powders For
Fab Home Cooking

Return to Seasoning Recipes

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