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Festive Cranberry Appetizer Spread

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2 cup apricot preserves

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 package cream cheese (8 ounces)

Assorted crackers

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil without stirring, boil for 5 minutes. Add cranberries; cook until berries pop and sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Cut apricots in the preserves into small pieces; add to cranberry mixuture. Stir in lemon juice. Cool. Add almonds. Spoon over cream cheese; serve with crackers. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Sauce may also be served as an accompaniement to poultry or pork.

Yield: About 3 cups

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