Cranberry & maple glazed ham
I reckon Christmas is better when it features a big scrumptious glazed ham – and this is the glaze to end all glazes! Because the ham is salty, a glaze should be a nice balance of sweet, tart, pungent and spicy to work with it – which is why I don’t add salt to the glaze. This one is deliciously simple to make and incredibly tasty – I’ve had nothing but rave reviews from those who have tried it. I don’t really like the idea of jamming cloves all over a ham (ever bitten in to a whole clove?). It’s nice and easy this way and you still get the lovely spiced flavour from the glaze.
Prep time – 40 minutes
Cooking time – 3-4 hours
1 x precooked ham – whole or half (free-range is essential for me)
1 x 275g jar cranberry sauce
1 cup orange or cranberry juice
1 cup pineapple juice
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
50g butter (optional)
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Extra juice, chicken stock, or water, for cooking
Take the ham out of the fridge 30–60 minutes before cooking, if you can. Slide a finger in under the skin (it helps to use the tip of a knife sometimes to get it started) and carefully peel the thin skin away — leave all of the cloudy white fat layer there for flavour and moisture. Keep peeling until all the skin is removed.
To make the glaze, combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 20–30 minutes until reduced to a syrupy consistency.
Using a small sharp knife, make a series of diagonal slices about 3cm apart and a few millimetres deep through the fat layer around the whole ham. Cut another series in the opposite direction, so you end up with rough diamond shapes. Transfer to a roasting dish, on a rack if you have one.
Now you can choose to either serve the ham hot, or just glaze it, heat the outside and serve it warm or cold.
To serve the ham hot, preheat the oven to 160°C regular bake. Calculate your cooking time — about 10 minutes per 500g. (To calculate, round your ham’s weight to the nearest kilogram. Multiply that by 2. Then multiply that number by 10 to get your cooking time in minutes. Divide that by 60 to get your time in hours. So if my ham was 9kg: 9 x 2 = 18. 18 x 10 = 180 minutes. 180 minutes ¸ 60 = 3 hours cooking time.) Pour the fruit juice, chicken stock or water into the dish, cover with foil (try not to let the foil touch the ham), and cook for the calculated time.
Remove the ham from the oven and discard the foil. Increase the oven temperature to 170°C. Brush the ham generously all over with the glaze, and return it to the oven to cook uncovered for 1 hour. Baste the ham with more glaze another three or four times while it’s cooking.
If you’re not ready to serve yet, you can keep it in the oven at 50°C for an hour or two until you’re ready.
To serve the ham warm or cold, preheat the oven to 180°C regular bake. Brush the ham generously all over with the glaze and bake for about
30 minutes, basting with glaze two or three more times during cooking.
To cook on the BBQ
If your BBQ has a lid, you can cook the whole thing on the BBQ in the same way as the first method. Use a low heat – only one-two burners set to low if you don’t have a thermostat.