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Roasted Fresh Ham

Roasted Fresh Ham with a Maple-Spice Glaze

This Easter try a fresh ham! This simple preparation combined with a basic spice mix highlights the flavor of the meat and keeps from increasing the fat content of this holiday tradition. The best roasted fresh ham has a thin crust and then lots of juicy meat.  Yes, it requires several hours of slow cooking, but the results are well worth planning ahead.

Ingredients: Fresh ham with maple-spice glaze
  • One 8- to 10-pound bone-in fresh ham (see Notes), preferably from the shank end, any rind removed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (see Notes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the ham in a large roasting pan, preferably one that is relatively shiny and sturdy. Set the oven rack as high as it can go and still afford the ham at least 2 inches of head space.
  2. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Smooth the spice mixture all over the ham's external surface. Work it down into some of the crevices but be careful to avoid any deep-tissue massage.. 
  3. Cover the ham with aluminum foil, put it in the oven and roast for 3 1/2 hours.
  4. Baste ham with about half the maple syrup, using a light stroke to avoid knocking off the spice coating. (Or just dribble the syrup off a spoon.)
  5. Continue roasting the ham, uncovered this time, basting every 15 minutes or so with more maple syrup as well as any pan drippings, until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat without touching bone registers 170 degrees F., about 1 1/4 hours. If it starts to singe or turn too dark, tent it loosely with foil, uncovering it just at the last to get it back to crunchy-crisp.
  6. Transfer the ham to a cutting or carving board and let it rest a room temperature for at minutes before carving into slices.

*Test Kitchen Tip: This roast has been prepared with several cuts and the shank end was preferred.

In North America, maple is sold in various state-sanctioned grades: A and B are the usual divisions, with A parsed into several finer demarcations.  Basically, the lower the grade, the more intense the taste. Try Grade A Dark Amber (which can be great for pancakes) or even Grade B, usually reserved for baking.

Makes: 16 servings, each 1/2 pound raw roast.

Per serving : 584
Calories; 843 gm fat; 40 g protein; 7 gm carbohydrate;  5 gm fiber;  180 mg sodium

Accessed from
From a recipe copyright by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough