I usually make some type of cranberry sauce during the Holiday season, although we no longer cook turkey. My first encounter with cranberry sauce was the “canned and jelled” kind. Later I learned it is very easy to make cranberry sauce from fresh cranberries and it is much better than the canned stuff. Last year, I made “figgy cranbery sauce” from a recipe I saw in the Washington Post. I did not post this and we finished eating it several months ago. It was a pretty versatile sauce, however, and went well with chicken or even pork. My wife asked me to make some more even though it was not the Holiday season. It may not be the Holiday season but it is also not the season for cranberries–none were to be had. My wife suggested I make a similar sauce using just dried figs and balsamic vinegar. But I thought it was essential to have cranberries in cranberry sauce and made this using dried mission figs and “Craisins”, which are sweetened/flavored dried cranberries. I served the sauce with my “Matsukaze” chicken patties 鳥の松風焼き as an appetizer with a glass of red wine.
Despite using only dried fruit, the sauce came out pretty well and went perfectly with this chicken dish.
Dried mission figs, coarsely chopped, about 1/2 cup (left below).
Craisins, about 1 cup (right below)
Japanese Yuzu citrus skin (frozen) about 1 tsp (or orange peel or zest)
Orange liquor (I used triple sec), 2 tbs
Sake (or white wine), 1/2 cup.
Soak the figs and Craisins in hot but not boiling water (I used hot water from our InstaHot) and let them sit for 20-30 minutes. I drained the liquid reserving 1/4 cup.
In a sauce pan, I added sake and when it came to a boil added the drained figs and Craisins. I stirred and mashed the fruit. During this process I thought it may need more liquid and added the reserved soaking liquid. After 10 minutes or so, the sauce thickened. I tasted it and decided no sugar was needed (Craisins are rather sweet). Off the heat, I added the triple sec and Yuzu skin and mixed well.
This was a success! Without using any additional sugar, it was just right. The yuzu and triple sec added a nice burst of citrus flavor. Now I can make my figgy cranberry sauce any time of the year.