I am very excited about having Christmas at my house this year. I decided early I wanted to glaze my ham with cider, and thought I could take advantage of the cherry season to make an apple and cherry compote to serve with it. I love cider, and it goes so perfectly with pork. I do hope my friend over at Whatsincider will be tempted by this recipe as well. I picked up my ham from my favourite producer of local smallgoods, Balzanelli Smallgoods. All their products are top notch, so I knew their Christmas hams would be too. Indeed, the ham was delicious before the glaze even went on (not that I tried a slice)! I wanted a whole ham on the bone, but with only four of us, a leg seemed too excessive. So I was recommended a shoulder ham that is just perfect. I spiced my cider before using it as a glaze, but you don’t have to, you can drop these ingredients, and simply reduce the cider down to a syrup. I like the idea of spiced cider though, and I think it turned out beautifully.
|1||lemon, zest of|
|1/2||orange, zest of|
|1||ham, on the bone|
|whole cloves, to stud|
|1/2||apple, peeled, cored and diced|
Place the cider, cinnamon, star anise, peppercorns, lemon zest and orange zest in a small saucepan. Simmer till reduced by two thirds. Remove the solids. Remove half the infused cider to glaze the ham.
Preheat the oven to 170oC.
To glaze the ham, add the brown sugar and mustard to the cider while it’s hot, stir to dissolve. Remove the skin of your ham and score the fat in a criss-cross pattern. In each of the diamonds you’ve just made, stud the ham with a clove. Brush your ham with the glaze and roast for 1 hour, brushing on more glaze every 15 minutes. You want the ham to be a dark golden brown colour. Remove ham from the oven. If you want to serve it cold, allow to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, to make the compote, reduce the cider to a very sticky syrup. Add the apple and cook till soft. Meanwhile, cut the flesh around the cherry pips and pull the flesh away from the stone with your thumbs. Add the cherries to the apple mixture and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. You want a thick mixture. If you still have too much liquid, scoop the fruit from the pan and reduce the pan juices to a very thick syrup, then add the syrup to the fruit. Refrigerate till cold.
Serve the ham, sliced, with a spoonful of the cherry and apple compote.