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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Baked Ham with Dried Fruits

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
I think a baked ham recipe is in order, don’t you? This recipe is from The Silver Palate Good times Cookbook, which I have used heavily over the years. Most of the recipes are great, but don’t trust the baked goods, as testing was spotty and the recipes are full of errors. Really!

1 precooked, 16 pound bone-in ham
25-30 whole cloves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups apple juice
2 cups tawny port
2 cups pitted whole dates
2 cups dried figs
2 cups prunes
2 bunches watercress trimmed, washed, and dried for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. If necessary, trim the fat off the ham to 1/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, score the fat into diamond shapes. Line a large baking pan with tin foil. Place Ham in pan. Insert a clove in each intersection of the diamond and pat the mustard over the top and sides of the ham. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the ham and pour the apple juice into the pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently. Combine the port, dates, figs, and prunes into a bowl. Add this to the ham after 1 1/2 hours, bake for 30 minutes more, keep basting.

To serve, put ham on large platter with bed of watercress. Now take the lovely, liquor-soaked fruit and toothpick it on ham in neat rows. Drizzle with pan juices and serve the rest of the juice on the side. This should serve 20-25 folks.