There is no reason to be daunted by the thought of making a glazed ham! It’s quite straight forward if you have someone to show you how to do it.
Here’s why this Maple Glazed Ham is my go-to centrepiece for holiday menus:
- It makes the most wonderful, regal centrepiece – huge payoff for effort
- This maple ham glaze has a touch of special that people love – but it’s 100% dead easy
- It’s low risk and forgiving to make
- Prep ahead or make ahead (days and days ahead!)
- Economical – it’s sliced thinly, a bit goes a long way and leftovers last for ages and ages
When it comes to ham, there’s nothing to the ham glaze recipe – it’s literally mixing up a few ingredients. The part that’s not an everyday step is peeling the skin off – but don’t worry, the visual steps and recipe video below will guide you through it. It’s not a big deal – the skin WANTS to come off!
What goes in the Ham Glaze
Here’s what you need for the Maple Ham Glaze. So few ingredients, it’s magical how it transforms once baked! It’s the combination of the glaze, the caramelization of the fat on the surface of the ham and the salt in the ham itself (which is why I don’t use any salt in the glaze).
- Maple syrup is what gives this ham glaze a special little touch. No one can put their finger on it – they just know it’s got something magical about it! Sub with honey in a heartbeat! No maple or honey? Make this Brown Sugar Ham Glaze!
- Brown sugar adds to the caramelised flavour of the glaze;
- Dijon Mustard is a thickener for the ham glaze AND adds a touch of much needed tang to an otherwise sweet glaze;
- Cinnamon and all spice for a touch of festive spices;
- Oranges – for a bit of liquid in the pan that’s more interesting than just using water, plus a touch of extra natural sweetness. You can’t taste the oranges in the end result once cooked. Orange juice has more flavour than just using water which adds to the flavour of the glaze and also the sauce made using the pan drippings;
- Cloves – optional, for studding! I really can’t taste it so I do it for visual / traditional purposes only. Also, they are a bit impractical – you can’t freely baste as you have to dab around the cloves (otherwise you brush them off) and also you need to remove them before carving. No one wants to bite into a clove!
How to make Glazed Ham
Making Glazed Ham is a 3 step process:
- Remove rind (skin) from ham;
- Slather with maple glaze then bake for 2 hours, basting with more glaze every 20 to 30 minutes;
- Baste loads after removing from oven – the trick for a thick, golden glaze!
1. HOW TO REMOVE RIND FROM HAM
If this is the part you’re worried about – don’t be! The skin is thick, sturdy and WANTS to come off – so it peels off with little effort, mostly in one piece!
Here’s how to remove the rind from the ham.
2. BASTE AND BAKE
This part couldn’t be easier – just brush or spoon the Maple Ham Glaze all over the ham, squeeze over the orange juice then pop it into the oven to bake, spooning over reserved glaze every 20 minutes or so!
3. BASTE, BASTE, BASTE BEFORE SERVING!!
Now here’s the trick for an incredible glaze on your ham – baste LOADS after it comes out of the oven using the syrupy sauce in the baking pan! As that syrupy sauce cools, it will thicken and darken slightly in colour, so as you brush or spoon it over the ham, it creates an incredible thick to-die-for glaze!
Sauce for Ham
While ham itself is seasoned well enough such that it can be eaten plain, nobody ever says no to sauce!
I used to serve ham with sauces like Cranberry Sauce, mustard, caramelised onion jam and even chutney. But then one day it dawned on me – everybody’s favourite part is the glaze. Why not just use the pan drippings which is just the excess glaze that drips down the ham into the pan? Combined with the ham juices and orange juice, it transforms into a fantastic sauce to drizzle over the ham!
How to serve ham
Here’s how I serve ham – in fact, how I served it on the weekend at a Christmas Party I catered for my mother! (The only “catering job” I do each year – because I can’t say no to her!)
- Wrap parchment / baking paper around “handle”, and tie with ribbon (practical to hold onto for carving + looks nice);
- Cover serving platter / board with green fluffage of some kind. Whatever’s good value at the shops on the day;
- Place ham on the green fluff age and place quartered oranges around it (for colour). In the past, I’ve also used cherries – just depends what’s better value on the day (oranges are usually good value!);
- Once the glistening ham has been admired enough , I start carving!
What to make with leftover ham
I always get way more ham than I need (budget 1kg / 2 lb per 6 to 8 people) because Christmas is just as much about leftovers as it is the grand feast on the day! Here are some recipes I deem to be worthy of making using leftover ham!