Cranberry sauce alternatives: Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Almond Brittle, Cranberry Relish and Acorn Squash

Cranberry Relish atop roasted acorn squash

Cranberry Relish atop roasted acorn squash

It shouldn’t surprise you that I prefer to make cranberry sauce from scratch each Thanksgiving, and I like it a little on the tart side.

Normally, cranberries + sugar + some citrus in a saucepan does the trick, but this year I came across another way to cook the bright red berries, and I’m hooked.

This recipe calls for roasting them in the oven until they are nice and jammy, then topping them with a crunchy almond topping, which adds some nice texture. I’m also including a recipe for a more traditional cranberry relish, for topping roasted squash.

Curious about cranberries? Click here to read about their journey from farm to your table.

Roasted Cranberry Sauce With Almond Brittle

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1 pound cranberries, thawed if frozen

1 cup sugar

¼ cup dry white wine or water

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Kosher salt

Cooking spray

⅓ cup sliced raw almonds

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Toss the cranberries with the sugar, wine, olive oil, 1 tablespoon rosemary and ½ teaspoon salt in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Bake on the lower oven rack, breaking up the berries with a spoon halfway through, until bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the almonds with the maple syrup, remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a small bowl until coated. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake on the upper oven rack until golden brown and bubbling, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool until hardened, about 30 minutes. Finely chop the brittle and sprinkle on the cranberry sauce just before serving.

Make the sauce up to 5 days ahead; cover and refrigerate. Make the brittle up to 3 days ahead and store in an airtight container; finely chop before topping.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Acorn Squash With Cranberry Relish

2 cups fresh cranberries

½ cup orange juice

1 onion, diced

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme



Pinch of ginger powder

1 ¼ pounds acorn squash

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium saucepan, mix cranberries and orange juice. Bring to a boil over low heat, then simmer for about 15 minutes until cranberries have softened and are starting to cook down.

Add onion, apple and thyme to saucepan, then season to taste with salt and pepper and ginger. Turn heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes until apple and onion are soft.

While cranberry mixture is cooking, cut acorn squash in half, then cut into ½-inch-thick slices. Place squash on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, then drizzle olive oil over squash and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat squash, then cook for 15 minutes. Use a fork to flip squash so both sides get some color on them, then cook for another 15 minutes or until soft.

Remove from oven, place on a serving dish and serve with cranberry relish on top.

Serves 4.

Source: Michelle Stark, Times food editor