When it comes to baking the Easter Ham, this recipe, with its pineapples, Ginger Ale and Maraschino cherries, makes my kids eager to help make the ham. This translates into a meal where I rarely have to nag them about eating — as the ingredients for this ham are more like the makings of an ice cream sundae, rather than the main course Ham for Easter for dinner. Every year, I can’t wait to make this recipe, and it has all the makings for one of those meals my boys will remember every Easter, and want to share with their own kids someday. But, I will not, this year, be making that cake. Here’s the recipe and method.
- 1 smoked bone-in Virginia ham (14 to 16 pounds)
- 4 cups ginger ale
- 1-inch piece crystalized ginger, peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 20-30 whole cloves
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 12 pineapple rings
- 12 maraschino cherries
- Combine the ginger ale, ginger, and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes, reducing the liquid by half. Strain and reserve.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Carefully trim off the fat and the thick rind (as much as you can) off your ham.
- Move the ham to a baking pan.
- Using a knife, make a diamond pattern and insert the cloves at the crossed points of the diamonds.
- Brush the mustard all over the top.
- Pat the brown sugar into the ham.
- Let the kids arrange the pineapple rings, with cherries in the center, using cloves and toothpicks to hold them in place. Pour the reserved Ginger Ale into the bottom of the pan and place in the oven.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours, basting whenever the kids ask to see the pig.
- When the Easter Ham comes out of the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and putting on the kids’ plates.