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Molasses Glaze for Holiday Ham

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“From my Aunt Alta's recipe collection. My first memory of my Aunt Alta is visiting at her house in Illinois when I was a young girl, when she served us a huge holiday ham dinner(even though we were visiting her in the summer). I had never had a ham before, since my mother never served pork dishes in our house. I loved it and now I make a holiday ham for Christmas each year. She decorated the ham with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries place into the center of each ring,using whole cloves to pin them into place. I am guessing on the size of the ham here - her instructions were only for a half ham or a whole ham. Since the ham is to be a precooked one, the cook time is really just to fully heat the ham and cook the glaze, so use the appropriate heating time that your ham wrapper indicates for the size ham you have purchased. If your wrapper suggests a different temperature as well, then use that temperature, adjusting it to fit the recipe temp only after adding the glaze. I recently inherited my Aunt's recipes, and this was buried in her recipe files, splattered and crinkled and torn at the edges. She originally got the recipe from the back of a molasses bottle. I serve this with a hot fruit sauce on the side as a "gravy."”
3hrs 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Remove rind from ham and score the fat with a sharp kife, creating diamond shapes all over the surface.
  3. Stud ham with cloves (and pineapple & cherries, if desired- attach with either toothpicks or cloves).
  4. Place ham in roasting pan so that the wide flat cut side is down.
  5. Bake 2 1/2-3 hours for a whole ham, 1 3/4-2 hours for a half ham (or use the heating instructions provided on your ham wrapper, changing the cook temp if necessary as well).
  6. Mix dry mustard powder with the molasses and brush all over ham 30 minutes before the ham is done, returning ham to oven to contiune cooking at 325°F.
  7. TIP: Do not baste ham with pan drippings as this will make the glaze look dull.
  8. Once ham is cooked, let rest 10 minutes before carving.
  9. Do not eat the cloves- they provide flavoring as they bake, but should be discarded after cooking.

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