Since returning from our honeymoon (the sequel to my Disneyland Paris update is forthcoming, as are some other posts about the trip) last week, I’ve been itching to get in the kitchen. On Friday I had the perfect excuse since two of my good friends were coming over for dinner. I had two conditions for my cooking: 1) I wanted to try something I’d never made before. 2) We had a half-day at work, so I wanted a recipe that I wouldn’t normally have time for on weeknights. That led me to a maple-peach glazed ham, adapted from this recipe in Taste of Home.
I made a lot of changes to the original recipe, actually. Inspired by my mom’s recipe, which she’s been making for years and is really delicious, I surrounded the ham with Coca Cola during baking to keep it juicy. But since I had all that sweetness from the Coke, I didn’t want to also use sugar-laden peach preserves for the glaze like the original recipe called for. Instead, I used fresh peaches and a little bit of sugar to make my own peach compote, to which I added several more spices than called for in the recipe and a little bit of lemon juice and zest for brightness. Lastly, I used white peach instead of yellow peaches to give it a more subtle peach flavor, and I substituted litchi juice for the orange juice used in the original recipe…but that’s just because I don’t like orange juice. So if you can’t find litchi juice, feel free to use orange, or any other juice you love.
~1 (7- to 9-pound) fully cooked bone-in ham
~2 tbsp. brown sugar
~2 tbsp. garlic powder
~1 tsp. paprika
~1 tsp. ground black pepper
~10 medium white peaches, 3 sliced and 7 chopped (leave skin on)
~1/2 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling over ham
~1 (2 liter) bottle Coca Cola
~1/2 cup granulated sugar
~Spices for peach glaze, to taste: cinnamon, allspice, chili powder, pepper
~Lemon juice and zest (from 1/2 lemon)
~1/4 cup litchi juice (or any other juice)
~Preheat oven to 325; lay ham cut-side down in a roasting tin.
~In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper. Using your hands, spread rub all over top and sides of ham.
~Lay sliced peached on top of ham and layer them in bottom of pan, slipping some underneath the ham as well.
~Starting from the top left corner of the pan and moving to the right, drizzle maple syrup on top of peaches and ham in a zig-zag pattern.
~Fill roasting tin about halfway with Coca Cola.
~Bake ham uncovered for about 15 minutes, then cover and bake until a thermometer reaches 130 degrees, about 2 hours.
~Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on high heat, combine 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, and chopped peaches (but save a generous handful of them to add later on).
~Stirring frequently, let cook until peaches start to soften, about 5 minutes.
~Add spices. I didn’t quite measure out what I added, but here’s an estimate if you want a guide: 2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 to 2 tsp. allspice, 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. pepper. Cook 5 minutes more.
~Add maple syrup and litchi juice. Cook until sauce begins to thicken slightly, about 15 minutes. If it doesn’t, add more maple syrup as necessary. Remove 3/4 cup mixture for glaze.
~Remove ham from oven; brush with some of the glaze. Bake, uncovered, until a thermometer reaches 140 degrees, about 15 to 20 more minutes, brushing occasionally with remaining glaze.
~For serving, put remaining 1/4 cup compote into a gravy boat; to gravy boat, add juice and peaches from the roasting tin. Once ham is carved, pour some additional juice and peaches from tin over sliced ham.