Extraordinary Honey-Basted Ham

Extraordinary Honey-Basted Ham

In the Detroit area there is a company that produces for retail sales, a fine “honey baked ham” with a candied coating of pure honey which the company insists in its advertisements “will haunt you till it’s gone”. A clever commercial for a truly unique food product. When I could not find the ham while living in California, I had to devise my own version of it.

1/4-cup dark corn syrup
1-pound honey
2/3-cup butter or margarine

In small saucepan combine the 3 ingredients. Bring to boil. Stir constantly over just enough heat to keep the mixture at a very gentle boil for 15 minutes. For half of a semi-boneless, fully cooked ham, approximately 4 to 5-pounds, place ham, cut-side down in shallow baking pan. Score fatted sides of ham, inserting a whole clove in center of each of the scored sections of the fat. Baste surface of ham with simmering glaze, using about 3-tablespoons of the mixture, every 10 minutes for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350°F - or till honey glaze becomes candied but not overly browned. It will harden while cooling. Keep honey mixture warm over hot water in top of double boiler. At the end of the baking time, open the oven door, turning on the broiler heat just to candy the honey coating of the ham. Let ham stand 20 minutes before carving. Allow 1/2-pound per serving.

NOTE - If you are preparing a fully-cooked smoked ham the baking time is about 15 minutes per pound at 375°F for large or whole hams, and about 350°F for smaller hams. Check the wrapping of the ham you purchase to see if the packager gives specific instructions. Time and temperature will vary between brands due to the salt content and the amount of liquids in each. In any case, internal temperature should reach 160F with meat thermometer inserted as near the center as possible. Fresh hams should roast to that temperature at 325°F oven with 25 minutes per pound, approximately.