Here, the maple syrup both complements the natural sweetness of the squash and lends a rich accent. For a lighter glaze, substitute honey for the syrup, or use only butter. You can also swap in lemon zest for the orange zest, and fresh rosemary or sage for the thyme.
Preheat an oven to 400 F. Oil a baking sheet.
Trim the ends from each squash and cut into slices or quarters. Scrape out the seeds, reserving some for roasting. Season the slices generously with salt and pepper and arrange on the prepared sheet. Roast for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the maple syrup, chopped thyme and orange zest, then remove from the heat.
When the squash slices have roasted for 10 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the slices with the butter mixture. Sprinkle with the cranberries and the reserved seeds. Continue to roast until the squash slices are glazed, browned and tender when pierced with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes more.
Transfer the squash slices to a platter. Garnish with thyme sprigs and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.