The bright-red colour and tart flavour of Yukon cranberries complements Christmas feasts 

beautifully.

For a change, try baking cranberry sauce ahead of the big day. Adding thyme and some Northern sage imparts a nice woodsy mellowness.

Cranberry-Orange Squares are a welcome treat on your cookie tray and make up quickly with the use of a food processor.

Your stash of frozen low-bush cranberries can be put to use in either of these recipes. High-bush cranberries can be used, as well, but you may have to increase the sugar slightly.

It’s baking that your family and guests will love – that is, if they last long enough on the cooling rack.


Savoury Baked Cranberry Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Yukon low-bush cranberries (frozen are fine)

1 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup port wine or cranberry juice

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon Yukon sage

PREPARATION:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the cranberries, sugar, wine, thyme and sage. Stir well to coat the berries.

Place in an ovenproof casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid; or, alternatively, cover the casserole with tinfoil.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, stir well, cover it again and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

The sauce may seem a bit wet when you remove it from the oven, but all of the liquid will be absorbed as the sauce cools. Stir and serve it warm or at room temperature. Or prepare ahead of time and refrigerate it until needed.

Yield = 4 cups


Cranberry-Orange Squares

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

2 cups low-bush cranberries (frozen are fine)

2 tablespoons orange zeste (grated peel from one orange)

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Crust:

1½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup oats (whole or quick)

2 tablespoons cornstarch

? cup granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, cut in pieces and at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

Prepare the filling by putting the cranberries, orange zeste, sugar and orange juice in a heavy saucepan.

Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about five minutes.

Remove the lid and continue cooking over very low heat for another three to five minutes.

Remove from heat and blend in one tablespoon of maple syrup. Let it cool.

Prepare the crust by using a food processor fitted with a metal blade. In the bowl of the food processor, blend together the flour, oats, cornstarch, sugar and salt.

Add the butter and blend.

Add the vanilla and continue to blend until the dough clings together.

With floured fingers, press just over half of the dough into a buttered nine- by nine-inch baking pan. Smooth the dough evenly.

(Hint: lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the dough and press gently to smooth. Place the baking pan in the freezer for five to 10 minutes.)

Remove the pan from the freezer (remove plastic wrap!) and pour the cranberry filling over top. Place the remaining dough in clumps on top of the filling.

Bake in a 375F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until it is golden and set.

Allow it to cool on the rack before cutting it into squares.

Yield = 16 medium or 24 small squares