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
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.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
4. 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.
5. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and salt together. Continue beating and slowly sift in flour.
6. Once the flour is fully incorporated (with no lumps), beat in heavy cream and vanilla extract.
7. Arrange the quince slices on the bottom of each dish. Top with the fig slices arranged attractively.
8. Pour the custard batter over the fruit, evenly distributing it evenly amongst the 8 dishes. The fig slices will just peep over the top.
9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the custard has set.
10. 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