Glazing your own ham can be very satisfying, and the smell as you’re cooking and basting it fills the whole house with those Christmas aromas. There are lots of things you can glaze a ham with, but this combination is one of my favourites. The flavours of quince and apple marry beautifully with the smokey ham, and you end up with a rich, sticky, burgundy coating.
I have always found that using a whole, bone in leg of smoked ham is preferable; although it seems like a lot you can always cut pieces off and give them to friends(they’ll love you for it), and believe me, once it’s in your fridge, it has a magical way of drawing you back every ten minutes to cut off another slice.
The issue with glazing a 10kg ham is that you need a pretty big oven to bake it in. You can cut it in half first; I use a knife to cut through to the bone, then a hacksaw to cut through the joint(preferably not one you’ve just used to fix the car!) Alternatively you can buy a 2kg, D’Orsogna Boneless Mini Ham which is a little easier to handle.
If you are doing a whole ham, the first thing you need to do is carefully remove the skin. I leave about the first 10cm of the shank still covered with skin so you have something togrip. Cut a line around the shank through the skin and then slowly with the tip of your knife, work the skin away from you trying not to remove any of the beautiful creamy fat.
Once the skin is removed, score the fat lightly across the ham on a diagonal about 2 cm apart, then back the other way to form diamond shapes. Don’t cut into the fat too far or the diamonds sometimes fall off while you’re baking your ham.
Next, stud each square with a whole clove, using the pointed end like the point of a nail, and pressing them in with your thumb.
To make the glaze, cut 200gm of good quality quince paste into small dice, place into a small saucepan with 200ml of Apple Cider and 2 tbs apple cider vinegar.
Heat gently until the quince paste has melted and the glaze is about the consistency of tomato sauce.
Place the ham on a wire rack sitting inside a tray and add about a centimeter of water.(this will stop any excess glaze from burning on the tray)
Brush the glaze over the ham and place in a preheated 160 °C oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, brush with more glaze and return to the oven for another 15 minutes. I like to keep doing this until all the glaze is used up. That way you get a nice thick, rich coating that really infuses into your ham.
Remember, you’re not cooking the ham, it’s already cooked, so you’re really just baking the glaze onto it.
Allow the ham to cool well, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
It will keep well in the fridge for about two weeks.
Happy Ham cooking and Merry Christmas!