Pecan Maple Glazed Holiday Ham with Accompaniments
about 30 servings for whole ham and 15 servings for half ham
- 1 whole or half fully-cooked smoked ham (bone-in or boneless)
- Whole cloves as needed
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- or the equivalent of 1 cup light brown sugar in granulated brown sugar substitute
- ½ cup maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup
- ½ cup apricot nectar or liquid from canned apricots
- Maple flavoring as desired (optional)
- Pecan halves as desired for garnish of ham
Pastry Christmas Trees
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Multi-colored or green decorating sugar and large assorted-colored gum drops
- Nutty Cheese Apricots as accompaniments
With a sharp knife, score the top of the ham in a diamond or X pattern. Insert a clove into the center of each X. Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and insert meat thermometer into the thickest part, away from fat and bone. Bake, uncovered, in a slow oven (325 degrees F.) until thermometer registers 140 degrees F. Allow about 2 to 2½ hours for a 6 to 8-pound half ham and 3 hours for a 10 to 12-pound whole ham.
While ham is baking, prepare glaze. In a small heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup, apricot nectar, and maple flavoring, if used. Bring mixture to a boil over moderate heat; reduce temperature and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Thirty minutes before the end of the baking time, remove ham from oven and remove cloves from the ham. Spoon half of the glaze over the ham. Arrange pecan halves atop ham. Return ham to oven. Transfer ham to heated platter and carefully spoon remaining hot glaze over ham, and not disturbing the pecan halves. Garnish platter with pastry trees and Nutty Cheese Apricots..
To prepare pastry trees, use a commercial prepared refrigerated pie crust or your own favorite pastry recipe for an unbaked pie shell. Roll out dough 3/8-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut dough with a floured Christmas-tree-cutter. Brush each tree lightly with beaten egg white. Sprinkle trees lightly with multi-colored or green candy decorations or colored sugar. Bake pastry trees on ungreased baking sheets in a preheated hot oven (400 degrees F.) for about 8 minutes or until done. Cool trees on wire racks. To stand trees upright, push tree stems into large gum drops which have been slit slightly with a sharp knife. Arrange trees on platter around ham.
Nutty Cheese Apricots
about 8 to 9 stuffed apricot halves
- 6 ounces cream cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- Few drops milk as needed
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 (15. 25- ounce) can apricot halves, drained
- 8 to 9 red and/or green maraschino cherry or candied cherry halves
In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and milk, beating until smooth with an electric mixer. Add nuts, mixing well. Fill the cavity of each apricot half with cream cheese mixture. Top each with a maraschino or candied cherry half. Refrigerate stuffed apricots until ready to serve.