Glaze your own ham this Christmas and wow your guests

WHAT a wonderful tradition it is to glaze your own ham at home. Glazing a good ham makes it brilliant.

Warm 50 per cent honey and 50 per cent brown sugar and mix well. Then you can be creative. Add a touch of something fruity like orange juice, apple juice, pineapple juice, plus a little drop of port just to give it your personal signature glaze.


  • 1 good ham (cooked)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 100 ml juice (your choice)
  • 50ml port or liquer
  • glacé cherries
  • pineapple slices
  • whole cloves


Cut out a kings pointy crown in the skin around the shank ½ cm deep. The rest of the skin covering the ham should be removed by putting your thumb between the skin and the fat at the end opposite to the shank. Moving your thumb side to side releases the skin from the fat. Eventually you can get fingers in and then the hand till you can peel all the skin you don’t want on.

If this is difficult, pour boiling water over the skin you wish to remove (do this safely in your clean sink). This will help the skin come away easily. This skin is great crackle. Bake it at 250°C for 30 to 40 minutes till it bubbles into crackle. Yum!

Now back to the ham; cut some criss cross lines 1cm deep into the fat to create diamond squares or any geometry you remember from school.

Place the ham on a tray in a hot oven at 225°C and with a pastry brush paint the fat with your glaze every 10 min for 30 minutes to an hour until it’s golden brown. If the skin around the shank starts to burn or curl cover it with alfoil to protect it.

After you have a nice brown fat ham decorate it with slices of pineapple cut thin and also glacé cherries cut in half and speared into the ham with cloves. Now one last time in the oven with one last paint of glaze over all the fruit.

Serve hot immediately or cool quickly in your second drinks fridge, if you’ve got one, so that it can keep for a week. Cooling a hot ham in the fridge warms all the other foods in your fridge, not a good idea.

The ham will have lost some of its moisture and have a more intense flavour with a yummy sweet fat. A good friend and famous food personality, Josephine Farley gave me this recipe back in 1980, my second year in business and it has not stopped creating smiles since.

Buon appetito.