Christmas Ham Recipe

Celebrate the Season with Flavor: Perfecting Your Christmas Ham Recipe

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As the holiday season approaches, it’s time to gather around the table with loved ones and indulge in festive flavors that warm the heart and delight the senses. Among the quintessential dishes of the season, Christmas ham stands out as a beloved tradition that brings joy to every gathering. With our tried and true Christmas Ham recipe, you can create a masterpiece that’s sure to impress your guests and become a cherished part of your holiday traditions. So, let’s dive into the art of ham preparation and elevate your festive feast to new heights!

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  • 1 (9-10 lbs) spiral sliced ham, fully cooked
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 teaspoons allspice


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Place the spiral sliced ham in a large roasting pan, cut side down.
  2. Score and Season: Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a crisscross pattern. This will allow the glaze to penetrate the meat. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and allspice. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the surface of the ham.
  3. Add Liquid: Pour the apple cider into the bottom of the roasting pan, making sure to avoid pouring it directly over the ham. The cider will help keep the ham moist and flavorful during cooking.
  4. Cover and Bake: Cover the roasting pan tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the ham in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until heated through. The internal temperature should reach 140°F (60°C) when fully cooked.
  5. Glaze and Finish: Remove the foil from the ham and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Brush the ham with any juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Return the ham to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the glaze is caramelized and bubbly.
  6. Rest and Serve: Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a tender, moist ham. Slice the ham thinly and serve it warm with your favorite holiday side dishes.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Mustard Glaze: For an extra layer of flavor, mix Dijon mustard with honey and brush it over the ham before baking.
  • Pineapple Garnish: Add pineapple rings and maraschino cherries to the surface of the ham during the last 30 minutes of baking for a classic presentation.
  • Herb Rub: Substitute the spices with a mixture of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage for a fragrant and aromatic twist.

Keto Version:

For a keto-friendly version of this Christmas Ham, you’ll need to make a few adjustments to the glaze. Replace the brown sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener. Omit the apple cider or use a sugar-free alternative. With these modifications, you can enjoy a delicious keto-friendly ham without sacrificing flavor.

Low Carb Version:

To make a low-carb version of this ham, follow the same substitutions as the keto version, but be mindful of the portion sizes of the sweeteners and apple cider. You can also use a reduced-sugar apple cider or apple cider vinegar for a lower-carb option. Enjoy this flavorful ham as part of your holiday feast, and savor the festive flavors without guilt.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a bone-in ham for this recipe? A: Yes, you can use a bone-in ham if you prefer. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as bone-in hams may take longer to heat through.

Q: Can I prepare the ham in advance? A: Yes, you can prepare the ham in advance and reheat it before serving. Simply cover the cooked ham tightly with foil and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, reheat the ham in a preheated oven until warmed through.

Q: Can I use a different type of spice rub for the ham? A: Absolutely! Feel free to customize the spice rub to suit your taste preferences. Experiment with different combinations of spices and herbs to create a flavor profile that you love.

Q: How should I store leftover ham? A: Store leftover ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover ham slices for up to 2-3 months. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

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In conclusion, our Christmas Ham recipe is a timeless classic that’s perfect for celebrating the holiday season with friends and family. With its flavorful spice rub and irresistible glaze, this ham is sure to become the star of your festive feast. Whether you’re hosting a grand holiday dinner or simply enjoying a cozy meal at home, this ham will fill your home with warmth and cheer. So, gather your loved ones, fire up the oven, and prepare to savor every delicious bite of this holiday tradition. Merry Christmas and happy cooking!

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