I developed this recipe sometime in the early 2000s. I was living in New York and had a great group of friends that held potluck dinners every few months. When the Holidays came around, I decided that my contribution would be a Honey Baked Ham…the only hitch, I had never baked a gamin my life, in fact no one in my family even liked ham, much less thought of it as appropriate holiday fare. That said I rose to the challenge. I combed every recipe I could find, picking and choosing from the best. Such was the birth of my masterpiece. It was so popular in fact that my friends adopted it as a Holiday favorite, and so did my family! Now I get to share it with all of you. I hope you enjoy and Happy Holidays to you all! —nycnomad
Mulled Apple Cider Brine
Fresh Apple Cider
4-8 lb Ham (I prefer a low sodium or smoked uncured ham)
Pot large enough for the ham to be completely submerged in apple cider, with a lid
The day before: Remove the ham from its packaging a place it an enormous pot. Cover completely with apple cider.
Add the mulling spices.
Cover and place on the stove, over a low flame. Simmer for 2 hours.
Remove from the flame and allow to cool. Place (as is, pot an all) in the refrigerator over night.
2- 2 1/2 hours before you want to serve the ham, heat the oven to 350F. Remove the ham from the pot and place in a deep baking dish, cut side down. Reserve the mulled cider for the next step.
Score the surface of the ham with a sharp knife, cutting on the diagonal, and again on the opposite diagonal. Don't go more than 1/4" deep. The result is a lattice diamond pattern.
Insert cloves at the corners of the diamonds. This will add flavor to the ham while giving it a decorative spiked appearance.
Pour 2-3 cups of the mulled cider over the ham, more for larger hams.
Cover the ham with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes turning over (skin side down) half-way through.
Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, raisins and powdered mustard with 1/2 cup of the reserved mulled cider (discard the rest).
Remove the ham from the oven and raise the temperature to 425F. Remove the aluminum foil and brush the surface with 1/3 of the glaze and return to the oven. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes Repeat the glazing process every 10-15 minutes until the glaze is gone.
In order to achieve a deep caramel color, baste the ham with some of the mulled cider from the baking dish. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes and repeat at least 2 times or until the desired color is achieved.
When the ham has reached the desired appearance, remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 20- 30 mins.
Transfer the ham to a serving dish, carve and enjoy.