Hamming It Up

Posted by Brette in Food | Holidays

For Easter, I decided to make Martha’s Pineapple Mustard Glazed Ham (April Martha Stewart Living). I don’t generally make a ham for Easter. In fact, until last year, we usually were away over Easter and didn’t really celebrate at all. But this year we were home and I thought I would Martha-ify our Easter.

I often make a ham around Christmas and I usually baste it with Coke or pineapple juice and then make a glaze with brown sugar, mustard, and pineapple juice.

pinapple1Martha’s recipe is more complicated (of course). She directs you to buy whole pineapples and peel, core and slice them (however, she does not give any instruction about how to do that). Fortunately, last summer in Hawaii we saw a demonstration of this at the Dole Plantation. Mr. MarthaandMe went to work with the pineapple. He used an apple corer to get the core out.

Once the pineapple is ready, Martha says to cook it with water and sugar for an hour to an hour and 20 minutes, until it is translucent. I did this and ended up with only half the juice the recipe says you will have. Sigh. So I dumped in some canned pineapple juice and cooked it down to the right consistency. Once that cooled, I mixed in mustard Note that at no point does this recipe say to remove the pineapple slices and reserve them, but I did take them out.pineapple4

Next it was time to prepare the ham. Martha says to trim excess skin and fat and leave about 1/4 inch of fat. It has never occurred to me to remove the skin from the ham, but it struck me as a brilliant idea. I don’t like the skin or the fat and you make this wonderful glaze and it sits on the skin and doesn’t soak into the meat at all and you never taste it. So, Mr. MarthaandMe trimmed the ham. Next, I scored it and inserted cloves.

ham1I brushed on half the glaze, covered it with parchment and foil and baked as directed. I then removed the covering, poured on the rest of the glaze and finished baking.  Martha makes reference to pan drippings, but everything in my pan burned to a crisp. In fact, I had to turn the oven temp down. Martha said to cook at 425 with the ham uncovered. My ham started to burn and smoke at that temp.

The recipe says to let the ham rest, and then to serve with the pineapple and ham2the pan drippings  (of which I had none). Here’s where my biggest complaint comes in with this recipe. In the photo next to the recipe in the magazine, you see a big beautiful ham with pineapple rings attached to it. The recipe does not say to attach the pineapple to the ham at all.  I have never attached pineapple rings to a ham and was looking forward to that beautiful presentation. In fact, I have no idea how you attach them. Toothpicks?

ham3The ham tasted good and it was particularly good when eaten with the pineapple slices which were practically candy. The family verdict was that my usual method is better. In the future, I will make my own glaze, but I am going to trim the skin and fat off, so that is my take away lesson from this.

I had planned to make an entire Martha meal and so I consulted the Cooking School book. I am sad to report I couldn’t find the kinds of recipes in there that I wanted. I wanted to make some cheesy potatoes and there wasn’t a single recipe that even ham4resembled that. In fact, there are very few potato recipes in that book at all. I had artichokes and checked the book for some interesting recipes for that and all Martha has is how to boil them. So I abandoned that and went with some roasted asparagus, my grandmother’s cheesy potato recipe and some artichokes with butter for dipping.

Bookmark and Share

You can follow any comment to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses

  • Pru says:

    We did the ham in our house too, but used a ham without a bone. I liked it. We kept the pineapple in the glaze all the time and piled it on top so it cooked more in the oven and did not get burnt. We all enjoyed the ham so much that we will have it again!

  • Piling the pineapple on sounds like a good plan. It just seemed odd to me that the recipe did not really say what to do with the pineapple. The pineapple was SO sweet – like candy.

  • Pru says:

    Oh it really was good! I was worried that it was all going to be a bit too sweet – the cake recipes usually have a cup too much sugar in for my taste – but this ham was one of the best things I have ever done!

  • Interesting. It’s true her cakes are really sweet.

  • Jen says:

    I tried this for easter this year and was totally impressed! I used brown sugar instead of white, and with the mustard, it has a wonderful taste! I agree it’s dumb they didn’t specify how to put on the pineapple, but I just layered them on the ham before baking it, and it worked out just fine. Family loved it–I’ll definitely be doing this one again!