Maple-Glazed Ham

From Cook's Country | April​/May 2010
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Why this recipe works:

The first step to a stellar Maple-Glazed Ham recipe was selecting the right cut. Tasters preferred shank-end hams because they contained less gristle and fat and were easier to carve than butt-end hams. To minimize baking time—and reduce the risk of a dried-out ham—we let the ham sit out on… read more

The first step to a stellar Maple-Glazed Ham recipe was selecting the right cut. Tasters preferred shank-end hams because they contained less gristle and fat and were easier to carve than butt-end hams. To minimize baking time—and reduce the risk of a dried-out ham—we let the ham sit out on the counter for a while before we put it in the oven. After testing numerous cooking methods, we found an oven bag practically guaranteed a moist, juicy ham. The bag created a moist microclimate and sped warming, allowing us to reduce the cooking time. Warm and slow was our preferred cooking method for the majority of the time our ham was in the oven. However, a short blast of high heat at the end helped the coating caramelize without drying out the meat.

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Serves 16 to 20

For easy carving, look for a shank-end spiral-sliced ham. This recipe requires a large oven bag.

Ingredients

  • 1 (7- to 10-pound) spiral-sliced, bone-in ham (see note)
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar apple jelly
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into rough pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Instructions

  1. 1. PREPARE HAM Remove ham from packaging and discard plastic disk covering bone. Place ham in oven bag. Tie closed and cut 4 (1/2-inch) slits in top of bag. Transfer bagged ham to large roasting pan and let stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.

    2. BAKE HAM Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Bake ham until internal temperature registers 100 degrees, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.

    3. MAKE GLAZE Meanwhile, bring apple jelly, 1/2 cup brown sugar, syrup, mustard, cinnamon and nutmeg to boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until mixture is very thick and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 45 minutes. Remove cinnamon pieces. Off heat, whisk in butter.

    4. FINISH AND GLAZE Combine remaining brown sugar and dry mustard in small bowl. Remove ham from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cut open oven bag and roll back. Using a pastry brush, paint ham with glaze. Carefully press sugar mixture onto exterior of ham with hands. Return to oven and bake until dark brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer ham to cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes. Following step-by-step, carve ham. Serve.

Crust Is a Must

Your ham is just two short steps from a caramelized, crunchy, flavorful coating.

1. Paint the exposed ham with our sticky, concentrated glaze. Don't be shy. Use it all.

2. Pat the brown sugar-mustard mixture over the glaze. A quick blast in the oven will caramelize the crust.

Twice-Sliced Ham

Are we nuts? It's already sliced—that's why you bought it. Actually, despite the name, spiral-sliced hams are not fully sliced. Here's how we neatly finish the job of freeing the slices from the bone.

1. With the ham on its side, cut around the bone wth a paring knife to free the attached slices.

2. Switch to a carving knife and slice horizontally above the bone to remove the entire section.

3. Turn the ham to cut side down and slice down along the bone to remove the remaining meat.

4. Carefully cut between the slices to separate them.

It's In the Bag

Using an oven bag minimizes moisture loss while the hot, humid environment speeds the cooking. Once the ham is sealed inside, we cut four 1/2-inch slits in the top of the bag to let the steam escape.

OVEN BAGS: Not just for turkey

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