Baked ham. A staple of the Christmas season. You see one at almost every party you attend, usually a spiral cut ham for easy servings, with a small dish of mustard next to it. By the time Christmas rolls around you’re sick of it. Unless of course you’re my wife. Cheryl loves ham. And by “loves ham” I mean I think I could probably bake one every week and she’d never complain. Ok, maybe not every week. Anyway, a baked ham on Christmas day is her family tradition and it’s one we’ve incorporated into our annual celebration.
In the past I have used a pretty simple glaze like brown sugar and honey, but this year as I was looking up a cassoulet recipe in my mom’s recipe books I came across a recipe for an apple cider glaze. I wasn’t thinking about trying out a different glaze but this one was very tempting so I checked the spice rack to see what I had and what I needed. It has all of the flavors you’d associate with a sweet and sticky ham glaze; cinnamon, cloves, allspice, apple, citrus.
Seriously, this is a very easy and simple recipe for a good baked ham. It doesn’t take much effort but you are fairly active since you have to baste the ham every 15 minutes or so with the glaze. Not that much of a chore though and well worth it. The amount of glaze you end up with is definitely more than enough for a 7 lb ham. One note on the recipe, I’d say the cooking time listed here is more for a 5-6 lb ham, if you have closer to a 7 lb ham (like we did) give it another 15 or 30 minutes (and more basting). And don’t forget to save the bone for split pea soup!
Apple Cider Glaze (makes 1 ⅓ C)
- 2 C apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 15 whole cloves
- 15 allspice berries
- ½ C orange juice
- ¼ C honey
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 5-7 lb bone in ham
- 1 can of pineapple slices, drained
- 10 maraschino cherries
For the glaze: Use some cheesecloth to make a sachet d’epice of the allspice berries and cloves. It’ll be easier to remove them later. If you don’t have cheesecloth, don’t worry about it, just make sure you spoon them all out.
Combine cider, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove and discard cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
In a small bowl combine the orange juice, honey, cornstarch, and orange zest. Stir until smooth then whisk into the cider.
Bring to boil over medium heat and boil for 1 minute.
Preheat your oven to 325°F. Place ham fat side up in a baking dish/roasting pan. Bake ham for 60 minutes basting it with the glaze every 15 minutes.
Remove ham after one hour and increase oven temperature to 425°F. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries on ham. I broke some toothpicks in half to secure them to the ham, didn’t trust them to stay stuck where they were! Baste one more time and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes.
Remove, carve, and serve.