Ingredients

½ boneless, spiral baked ham, lightly smoked
1 cup honey ham glaze

For honey ham glaze:
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups honey

For homemade old fashioned raisin sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups water

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For honey ham glaze:
1. Mix all ingredients together and set aside.

For Baking Ham:
1. Place ham on roasting pan (aluminum or other) and cover with aluminum foil. Be sure to put ham in oven at room temperature so that it will heat evenly.
2. Bake in oven for about fifty minutes. (Note: Oven temperatures can vary so check after about 50 minutes and bake longer or shorter as needed.)
3. Check ham, if warm to the touch and steaming remove foil and add some more glaze. Put back in oven, without foil, for about 5 to10 more minutes until the glaze begins to brown.
4. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. Remove strings holding ham together.  If desired, place ham on a serving platter on top of a raisin sauce.

For homemade old fashioned raisin sauce:
While ham is cooking, make the raisin sauce.
1. Combine brown sugar, cornstarch and dry mustard in a small saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat.
2. Slowly add vinegar, raisins, lemon peel, lemon juice and water.
3. Continue cooking raisin sauce over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly. Serve raisin sauce with the ham.
(Makes about 2 1/2 cups of raisin sauce.)

Recipe courtesy of Bill Yameen, Butcher Boy Markets and Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2012.

by Victoria Brown: With Easter just around the corner, Julie Geary of Classic Cooks Catering spoke with Bill Yameen of Butcher Boy Markets, North Andover, for some tips on what kind of ham to buy for her holiday spread and how best to prepare it.

The US tradition of eating ham at Easter goes back to the time when there was no refrigeration; meat was slaughtered in the fall and the fresh meat that wasn’t eaten in the winter before Lent was cured for preservation purposes. The first cured hams tended to be ready around Easter and so it was more a matter of convenience than anything else that hams were eaten then. Over time it became ingrained in our culture.

Yameen recommends a boneless, spiral ham, which has been cured and lightly smoked. He explains why this ham is superior to the kind that you might find in the grocery store: “A lot of times the one that you are going to get at a grocery store is water added. The government allows ham producers to put up to a 30% salt solution into the ham which changes the texture and flavor of the ham.”  So he recommends that you check the label and ask questions to avoid that.

Yameen also suggests various products to complement the ham, including a honey ham glaze, made with brown sugar, ground cloves, cinnamon, lemon juice and honey, and an old fashioned raisin sauce, which for Geary brings back nostalgic memories of her grandmother’s cooking.

The ham is pre-sliced, to make your job easier, and then tied together with string so that it doesn’t dry out when you bake it. Yameen explains that it doesn’t actually have to be baked; “the ham is already cooked, you could basically eat it just like it is, all you’re going to do is heat it and you don’t want to overheat it because you’ll dry it out.” He recommends about an hour at 325 degrees and suggests that you bring the ham to room temperature before putting it in the oven, so that it heats more evenly.

Yameen recommends putting only a little of the glaze on at the beginning, a few cloves and covering the ham with foil for the first 50 minutes. You then take the foil off, add the rest of the glaze and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the glaze browns.

In another video, Geary shows us how it's done. She particularly enjoys decorating the ham with cloves; “that’ll make it a bit more festive” she says.

When Geary takes the ham out of the oven after the final stage of cooking she finds that “it’s got a beautiful shine to it”. She places it on a platter with the raisin sauce and then pours the pan juices over. When she cuts the strings open she is pleased to see that it is heated through just enough without having lost any moisture; “now you see how beautiful and moist this ham is. It looks terrific, perfect to eat”. She has a little taste and is particularly taken by the honey glaze, which is sweet with a hint of cloves.

“The nice thing about hams is their very simple” says Geary, but they look impressive and taste great. So even though we have many more choices, the traditional Easter ham is still a favorite.

This video was filmed in the Doyon's Kitchen & Appliance Showroom at the Doyon's location in Gloucester, MA. You can obtain more information at their web site; www.doyonsappliance.com

Baked Ham
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