Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Honey Baked Ham

Ham always reminds me of Easter. I have many fond memories of Easter growing up. My mom would always buy my sister and I beautiful easter dresses. Our easter baskets would be full of fabulous goodies come easter Sunday. We would have an easter egg hung at either our house or my grandparents house. We would go to church then have a delicious brunch at our house or go to the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for their amazing Easter brunch. Easter is such a fun holiday. I love seeing the spring colors come out of everyones wardrobe. I love all the spring fruits and vegetables that are at its prime. I love the flowers staring to bloom and the trees turning green. Okay, enough babbling about Easter. Let's get to this ham.
I've been making this ham since our first "married" Easter together, in 2007. I have made it ever year since (plus a few times throughout the year). This is one of Clayton's favorite dishes that I make. He gets so excited when I tell him I am making my ham. It is so simple to make and just falls off the bone when you cut it. I love the sugary crust too. I hope this can be your new favorite ham recipe. It sure is ours! Make this for your Easter lunch this Sunday! :-) Hoot Rating: 5!
Honey Baked Ham
Recipe by Lynn Wise
8 to 10 pound bone-in smoked ham half (butt or shank end)
2 cups apple juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
whole cloves

1) Preheat oven to 325*. Remove ham from packaging and rinse under running water.
2) In a deep roasting pan, set ham cut side down in center of pan. Pour 2 cups apple juice into roasting pan. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 325* for approximately 20 minutes per pound. (My ham was 8 pounds so I let it roast 2 1/2 hours).
3) After ham is done cooking, remove from oven. Turn heat up to 375*. Carefully remove foil. Be sure you are not too close because steam will release as soon as you remove the foil. Allow to cool slightly.
4) In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and honey. Stir in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple juice drippings. Mix well. Set aside.
5) Using a knife, trim visible fat and rind from ham. Score outside of ham in a diamond pattern (or just straight lines). Insert whole cloves in the cut lines. I used about 20 whole cloves. Use as many as you'd like. Brush sugar mixture all over ham.
6) Return ham to oven, uncovered, and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until sugar has hardened. Remove ham from oven. Carefully transfer ham to a cutting board and let it cool at least 20 minutes. Just before serving, discard the whole cloves and cut ham into slices. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers for up to one week. Cooked ham also freezes well.
Wise tip: Be sure to keep your ham bone! Wrap it in foil and put it in a freezer zip-loc bag and freeze it! Put a ham bone in a pot of homemade soup or use it to make beans. It adds an amazing depth of flavor!

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