Ham with Candied Orange Glaze

Ham Ham Ham Ham (Glorious Ham)!  Ham is all over the place!  For many people, a glazed ham is the centerpiece of an Easter dinner.  Consequently, when I went to the grocery on April 23rd, the meat case was piled high with hams…and they were on sale!  I don’t know why we don’t have ham more often – it is easy, it is tasty, and there’s always leftover ham for another meal.  So Saturday night, ham was on the menu!

You might think I have abandoned our primal/paleo dining principles since the title of this recipe sounds so very confectionery.  Well, glazed ham just has to have a sweet glaze…it’s a law of the universe.  I did what I could to take out processed sugars and sweetened it as naturally as possible.  Besides, the glaze is spread all over the ham, so the amount of carbs per serving isn’t as bad as eating the glaze out of the pan with a spoon (which I would NEVER do..cough, cough).  The main ingredient in the glaze, Polaner Orange All Fruit, has pieces of orange peel in it, which turn into tiny candy-like bits when cooked with the syrup and molasses.  All this caramelizes on the ham in the oven.  It was impossible for either of us to keep our hands off it – untold quantities were consumed in the short time allowed to photograph the ham.

I was inspired by this recipe from Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide…thanks Rufus and Mrs. Rufus!


  • One 7 to 10 pound bone-in ham
  • 1/2 cup apple cider (plus more for bottom of roasting pan)
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 10 ounce jar Polaner Orange All Fruit with Fiber (sweetened only with fruit juice)
  • 1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Boil apple cider and bourbon in a small saucepan until reduced by half.  Stir in Orange All Fruit, molasses, maple syrup, cider vinegar, cloves, and red pepper flakes.  Simmer for ~5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F.  Prepare a roasting pan by lining with foil, or (like we did) use a disposable aluminum roasting pan for easy clean-up.  Place a rack on the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove any hard rind and excess fat from ham, if present.  Score the ham all over in a crosshatch diamond pattern to create nooks for the glaze to seep in.  Place the ham on the roasting rack, fatty side up.
  4. Roast the ham at 325 for thirty minutes.
  5. Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 400F.  Liberally brush glaze all over the ham.
  6. Pour enough apple cider in the bottom of the pan to cover the pan – it’s okay if it touches the bottom of the ham.  This will prevent you from smelling burnt sugar for the next 45 minutes and it will help keep the ham moist.
  7. Return the ham to the oven and bake, basting and adding more glaze every 10-15 minutes until the ham is hot throughout and caramelized on the outside (about 45 minutes to an hour).
  8. Remove ham from oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and start slicing!  Enjoy!

Although not as sweet as the ham, the new Paul Simon album, So Beautiful or So What is nearly as tasty. Reunited with producer Phil Ramone, Simon sounds energized and tuneful as ever here, with standout cuts being “Getting Ready for Christmas Day” and “The Afterlife”.


21 thoughts on “Ham with Candied Orange Glaze

    1. This particular ham was not nitrate-free – it was on sale at the grocery store and I’m sure it was probably just a run-of-the-mill ham. Cured meats, such as ham, usually have nitrites in them (or they would be grey instead of pink) – however you can get meats that are designated “no added nitrates or nitrites”, which were not cured using industrial sodium nitrite. Industrial sodium nitrite may be contaminated with heavy metals, from what I’ve read.

      To answer your question – It is probably easiest to order good quality hams on-line unless you have a good supplier of local pork. U.S. Wellness Meats has uncured hams, as does heritagepork.com, just to give you a place to start looking.

      Thanks for the comment!

  1. So, where does one get the 10 ounce jar Polaner Orange All Fruit with Fiber, and what exactly is it? Some kind of jam? This sounds delicious, and I have a ham that’s been in the freezer for a couple weeks that keeps saying “Eat me! Eat me!!!” whenever I open said freezer. Just stumbled upon your site, it’s great! I totally cracked up at the name… that’s how it goes (most of the time) in my house too! I’ll be making your jerk chicken tonight. Thanks!

    1. Ha…let the ham out of that freezer! The Polaner Orange All Fruit came from the regular grocery store here (Publix) – it was in the aisle with jams and jellies. If you can’t find it, I’d go for a marmalade that is all-natural as possible (i.e. no high fructose corn syrup).

      Thanks for the comments! Hope you enjoy the jerk chicken!

  2. This looks like a winner for our 2013 Easter but have one question. You said to place the scored side down on the rack, do you turn it over for the last 45 minutes and when you start putting the glaze on?

    1. That’s a good question, Patti. It’s been so long, I now can’t remember what I meant by putting the “cut side down”. Looking at the recipe I linked, it appears that I should have said place the ham with the fatty side up – which should be the scored portion of the ham. That way you shouldn’t have to flip it over.

      Also, other recipes have you cook the ham unscored for a while, then take it out and score it. Most likely I scored it first to avoid handling hot ham with a knife. Either way, ham is pretty forgiving so it will probably be delicious no matter what you do to it. I would keep the scored side / fatty side up, most definitely, for the glazing! Sorry for the confusion!

  3. I made this recipe for Easter dinner and it was a HUGE hit! The hint of the red chili flakes really set the flavor. Thank you for the recipe! My fiance can not have alcohol in any way/shape/form so I did not use the burbon. I will be sure to make this again.

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