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Apple Cider & Maple Glazed Ham Recipe

Ham doesn’t need much in my opinion… I mean, it is smoked pork, after all- it’s already delicious by definition. This maple glazed ham with a touch of apple cider is the perfect recipe for your holiday dinner, a special brunch, or even just a weeknight!

This maple glazed ham is easy to make, and uses only 4 simple, clean ingredients- plus I love that it uses things we make right here on the homestead! I never really liked the more traditional pineapple, cloves, and the sad little packet of too-sweet sugar and spices that comes with most hams. This ham is so much better- flavorful without being overpowering, and just slightly sweet with hints of apple and smoky maple in the background.

How to Buy a Ham

Smoked: This recipe is for an already smoked ham- so if you have a fresh one that hasn’t been treated in any way, this maple glazed ham recipe probably isn’t the ideal recipe or cooking technique.

Uncured: If you have a local butcher or farmer selling pastured smoked hams- by all means! Those are a little hard to find where we are, so we buy the best quality we can find at our local natural food stores. I always get one uncured if I can (meaning it wasn’t preserved with nitrates), and with as few ingredients as possible. A ham that has been “cured” will also work with this recipe.

Bone-In: I prefer a ham with the bone still inside. Even though it’s a tad more work to cut around, it helps impart more flavor into the ham. A ham without a bone will also work for this recipe.

Spiral-Cut: I do like a spiral-cut ham, as it allows me to get the flavorful glaze onto more surface area of meat. Plus, it’s cut so nice and uniformly that it makes for a lovely presentation. A ham that is not spiral cut will also work with this recipe.

The great thing about a traditional spiral ham is that it’s already cooked, so all you need to do is flavor it and warm it up!

Apple Cider & Maple Glazed Ham Recipe

1 smoked ham, about 8-10 lbs
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs real maple syrup, divided
3 Tbs butter or ghee

This amount made enough for about a 8-10 pound ham. If your ham is 5 pounds or smaller, you can cut this recipe in half.

If you don’t do butter or ghee- just leave it out… no need to substitute anything.

To make the glaze, put the apple cider into a saucepan and heat over medium until the apple cider is reduced by about half it’s original volume, which took 25 minutes for me.

Once the apple cider is reduced, turn off the heat and add in 1/2 cup maple syrup and all of the butter; whisk until the butter is melted. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 350F.

Handling a spiral-cut ham takes a little finesse so that it doesn’t fall apart. Place the entire ham into a 9X13 baking pan, on its side so that the spiral cuts are facing up. If your ham is larger or an odd shape, you might need to use a bigger roaster pan– just make sure it has high sides.

Using a pastry brush (a spoon works too, though not quite as well) brush some of the glaze in between each of the spiral cut ham slices. This should use about 2/3 of the glaze.

Carefully flip the ham to its cut-side down in the pan. Use a very sharp knife to score the top of the ham- make shallow slices just through the very outer later of fat and meat in one direction, and then go back and score in the other direction to make a pattern made of squares.

Pour the remaining glaze slowly over the top of the ham, using the pastry brush to brush it into all the cracks and cuts.

Cover the ham and pan with foil. My ham was large and sticking up tall out of the pan, so I had to use two pieces of foil overlapped. Cover the ham and cinch the foil around the pan so that the ham is completely enclosed in the pan with the foil overtop.

Bake the ham 12 minutes for every pound of ham. My ham was nearly 10 pounds, so I baked it for 120 minutes.

Remove the ham from the oven, and use a tongs to pull the foil off.

Increase the oven temperature to 425F. Place the 2 Tbs pure maple syrup into a small bowl and use the pastry brush to brush the maple on just the outside of the ham. Return the ham to the oven uncovered and bake for 15 minutes more, until the ham is turning brown and caramelized on top.

There will be lots of apple maple ham juices in the bottom of the pan- you’ll want to spoon some of these over the ham once its on your serving platter. Serve and enjoy your apple cider and maple glazed ham!

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