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Bourbon, fresh orange juice and sugar free maple syrup along with hints of Christmas spice creates the most divine sticky glazed ham that easily stands up to being the centre piece on your Christmas table.

Generally a glazed ham is full of added sugars. By tweaking the ingredients we’ve managed to come up with a wonderfully sticky glaze that goes just perfectly with baked ham. It creates a caramelised and sticky crust that tastes divine with the saltiness of the  baked ham.

Feel free to tweak the recipe to suit your tastes. If you want to avoid alcohol there are some simple switches you can make included in the recipe. If you don’t have the maple syrup on hand  you can also use maple extract. While I used monk fruit in the recipe, you could use any low carb powdered or granulated sweetener in the glaze.

It tastes like exactly like glazed baked ham, and no one will ever guess that it is sugar free and low in carbs.

Ingredients (30 serves)

  • 8-10 pound 4-5 kg bone-in fully cooked ham rind on or size to suit your needs
  • 1 orange quartered

Sugar Free Maple Bourbon Glaze

  • ¼ cup water
  • ⅓ cup Bourbon (I used Jim Beam) or orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar free maple syrup or maple extract
  • ⅓ cup monk fruit sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon all spice
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Pull your ham out of the fridge and leave to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  • Make your sugar free maple bourbon glaze by adding all ingredients to a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the sweetener granules have completely dissolved. Simmer the glaze gently for a further 5 minutes until it thickens slightly. Set aside and allow to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 C/300 F and position your rack to allow your ham to fit, on the lower rungs.
  • Remove all packaging or netting from the ham. Score around the hock if you have one so you can leave the rind on it. Peel and trim away the rind on the leg of the ham and discard. You can use your fingers to get under the rind and peel this back. Use a knife in more stubborn areas and to trim off any uneven excess fat- ensuring you leave a nice layer of fat around the ham to be able to score.
  • Using a long sharp knife create the pattern you desire on your ham. Cut about 75% of the way into the fat and avoid cutting into the meat if you can. Create either a diamond pattern or score your ham in narrow parallel lines as pictured. If you create a diamond pattern you can insert a clove into each diamond. I personally like to just place cloves around the hock so I don't have to pick them out as I slice the ham but the choice is yours.
  • Line a large baking tray or dish with several sheets of aluminium foil to reduce the mess.
  • Place the ham in the baking tray with the hock sitting on edge of the tray. Squeeze the juice of 1 orange over it (or pour ¼ cup of water into the base of the pan if you want to avoid using orange). Pour ⅓ of your glaze over the ham using a brush to get it into every crevice. Cover the ham with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes of baking, remove the ham from the oven and discard the foil that covers your ham. Increase the oven temperature to 220 C/425 F.
  • This next step takes about 60 minutes of final baking in increments of 15 (I suggest setting one timer for 60 minutes and another timer for 15 minutes each time.) Pour ½ of the remaining glaze over the ham, basting it into the score lines. Return to the oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
  • Remove your ham from the oven again and brush with the remaining half of the glaze. Return again to the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Cook for an additional 30 minutes, basting again after 15 minutes with the juices in the pan, until a dark golden-brown crust has formed. If your crust is not caramelized enough after the suggested baking time, turn on your oven grill and grill the top for between 3-5 minutes or until it has browned adequately. Watch it to make sure it doesn't brown too much.
  • Use foil patches to protect the bits that brown faster than others. Press it on lightly. The browned bits shouldn't peel off when you remove the foil.
  • Remove ham from the oven and let it sit for about 20 minutes before slicing. Baste your ham with the juices again just before serving. You can also use any juice/glaze leftover to drizzle on your ham once served.

Serving and Presentation tips

  • You can serve your ham either warm or cold. Serve and drizzle with any leftover pan juices. You don't need to use a lot as the glaze is quite strong in flavour. As the glaze thickens as it cools, you may need to warm it up and perhaps thin slightly with water if required, prior to serving.
  • Wrap the hock handle with brown or white paper, or fabric and use herbs and Christmas decorations/ribbons to decorate. Serve on a large serving platter and decorate with festive items such as greenery, oranges, sprigs of holly, rosemary etc.
  • Reheat instructions- you can cook your ham ahead of time so it is easier on you on the day you want to serve it. To reheat your ham, remove from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Cover it with foil and heat it at 160°C/320°F for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and baste your ham with the pan juices, then bake at 220 C/425F for about 5-10 minutes or until the fatty surface becomes sticky and golden again.

Storing Your Ham

  • Your ham will keep for at least a week in the fridge if properly stored using a ham bag.
  • Use any leftovers to make Quiche Lorraine or Okonomiyaki. You can also freeze it in slices or diced ready to use in recipes.
  • Don't forget that you can use the bone to make soup etc.

Recipe Notes

Make sure you get the ham with the rind on, as some hams come with the skin and fat removed. You want the layer of fat so you can create patterns in it and it browns up beautifully which is what you want in a Christmas Ham. The recipe is deal for half or whole hams.If you use a smaller or larger ham, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.Because the ham is already cooked and you are effectively just reheating it, your main concern is to not dry it out.Buy the best ham you can afford as the more you pay, the better the quality and it is Christmas so it's an ideal time for a splurge.Make sure you buy a cooked ham and not a raw one. If you have a raw ham then this recipe is not suitable.You can cook your ham ahead of time so it is easier on you on the day you want to serve it. To reheat your ham, remove from the fridge and bring it to room temperature. You can reheat your ham by covering it with foil and heat it at 160°C/320°F for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and baste your ham with the pan juices, then bake at 220 C/425F for about 5-10 minutes or until the fatty surface becomes sticky and golden again.Allow about 1 kg/35 oz of ham for about 6-8 people. If the ham is your only meat option then you may need to reduce this to about 5 people per kg/35 oz.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 28gNote that we calculate our own nutritional values so they may not be precise. Calculate your own if desired. Carb values exclude sugar alcohols such as Erythritol, as they generally have no impact on blood sugar levels. 50% of the carbs from Xylitol is added to nutritional values. This is consistent with industry practice.