After reading on my twitter feed that ham won Food and Wine’s survey over lamb as the quintessential Easter dinner, my brain started contemplating a glaze for an Easter ham. A lot of times recipes come from what is in the fridge but this was way easier. In the fridge was the leftover apricot glaze from the hens which I knew would be heaven on a ham, complimenting its salty goodness with the sweet tart of apricot while perfuming it with exotic spices.
Here’s how I did it for the hens. I combined
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp cumin, toasted & ground
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp ginger
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ tsp salt
but I know most of you won’t have cardamom and possibly cumin in your cabinet, so if you are going out to get an ingredient try Garam Masala. You can also use it on lamb, veggies (cauliflower, yum) chicken and fish. The Indian spice blend from Whole Foods, Whole Pantry contains pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and coriander, making it a nice substitution. Penzey’s also makes a very nice blend that I would recommend.
I have a ridiculous selection of herbs, spices and more in my cabinet which is not something that most of you care to have so I like to punt with some spice blends to make it easier for you and my students. What I am trying to approximate is Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan spice blend that can have upwards to 40 different spices in it.
Because ham is salty, I left the salt out of the spice mixture but did add a little for the glaze.
So now the recipe is:
- 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- pinch of saffron, if you have it (nice with the hens,too)
Combine the above ingredients and reserve 1 1/4 tsp. Sprinkle the remaining (depending on the size of the ham, you might not need it all) on the ham and bake according to the package directions. When there is about 30 minutes left on the cooking time, combine the remaining spice mixture with
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 oz of apricot preserves
Baste the ham several times during the remaining cooking time with the mixture. Check it frequently because of the high sugar content it can burn. If cooking at a low temperature you might need to raise the temp to 350°F for the last 15 minutes so the glaze glazes.