Saturday, December 10, 2011

Baked Christmas Ham

I am in Cairo, house hunting and baking ham!  We were invited to the home of a colleague for a lovely Christmas celebration yesterday and I promised to help another friend bake his ham to take along.  To that end, I hauled brown sugar, mustard, maraschino cherries, wooden toothpicks and canned pineapple slices with me from KL.  I am now informed that all of those things are available here but I wasn’t taking any chances!

1 whole ham (ours was 19.2 lbs or 8.89kg  and boneless– an enormous thing of beauty)
3 cans pineapple slices
1 jar maraschino cherries
2 cups or 400g  dark brown sugar
7 oz or about half of a small bottle of French’s mustard (207ml)
Bunch of wooden toothpicks
(If your ham is smaller, you might not need as much of the other ingredients.  Use your judgment.)

Score the ham with a sharp knife.  I forgot to photograph this part but scoring the ham just means making very shallow cuts one way on the ham and then turning it to make shallow cuts the other way, ending up with a diamond or crisscross pattern on the skin of your ham.

Using toothpicks, secure the pineapple slices all over your ham.

Add one cherry in the center of each pineapple slice and hold it firm with another toothpick.

Mix your mustard and brown sugar.  Spread over the ham with a small spoon or pastry brush.   

Don’t put it too thick because you don’t want the sugar to burn as the ham cooks.  You won’t use the whole bowl initially, so set aside the balance for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Add a couple of mugs full of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the glaze that drips off does not burn black in the dry pan.  Check often throughout baking that the pan does not get dried out.  Keep adding water as needed.

Bake in a 350°F or 180°C oven around 10-12 minutes per pound.  Hams are already cooked but you want the internal temperature to reach between 130-140°F or 54-60°C before serving.

Halfway through baking, take the ham out of the oven and baste with the pan juices.

About 30 minutes before you think the ham will be done, take it out and add the balance of the brown sugar mustard mixture. 

When it is done, remove the pineapples and cherries and put them around your serving dish.  Slice the ham and put it in the middle.  

This was about one third of that huge ham.  We kept slicing and refilling the platter as needed. 


  1. At Home with RebeckaDecember 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Beautiful Holiday Recipe! Thank you for linking to my Holiday Recipe Exchange!!

  2. Thanks, Rebecka! You got a lot of great entries. Can't wait to look through them all!


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