Fig Cranberry Sauce & Cranberry Sauce with Port and Dried Figs

DSC05259I’m on cranberry sauce duty for Thanksgiving. I’ve never actually made cranberry sauce before, so it was an all-new experience. I chose a recipe for cranberry sauce with port and dried figs, which I meant to double, but then realized I didn’t have enough ruby Port for two batches. So then I chose a different, but similar, recipe for the second batch—fig cranberry sauce. Options are good. Both have very interesting flavor profiles—the first from Port, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and black pepper, and the second from bourbon whiskey, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon sticks, star anise and ginger. What I like about cranberry sauce is that you can make it in advance (most recipes say up to a week), and that the flavors actually improve with time. I made one of my sauces on Monday and the other yesterday. Both have thickened up since, and I’ve enjoyed sampling each to see how the flavors meld and change with each passing day. Someday, I’d love to host Thanksgiving. But in the meantime, experimenting with one particular dish is fun, too.

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