Really, a delicious, tender honey-flavored ham with a crisp, crackley, sugary spiced crust that tastes exactly like you get from The Honey Baked Ham store? Yes, and the best part is, it’s only a faction of the cost.
- 1 half spiral cut fully cooked bone-in ham, (7 to 8 pounds) NOTE: Be sure to buy a high-quality ham. This is the most important thing.
- 1 (12-ounce) can 7-Up or Sprite
- 2 cups orange juice or pineapple juice
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 dozen (12) whole cloves (optional)
Sugary Spiced Crust
- 1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ cup honey
- Garnish: pineapple slices and maraschino cherries if desired
- To glaze the crust, you’ll need a blow torch. You can purchase it at Home Depot. If you don’t have excess to a torch, you can use your oven broiler to caramelize the sugar crust.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Unwrap the ham discarding the glaze packet if it has one. You won’t need that since we are making our own honey glaze. Place the flat side of ham down on the roasting rack of your roasting pan. Trim any excess fat off.
- The next step is optional but highly recommended for a delicious tasting ham. Insert whole cloves all over the ham. The whole cloves are one of the secrets to giving your ham the Honey Baked Ham store taste. Plus it makes your kitchen smell AMAZING!
- Pour a can of 7 Up or Sprite over the ham. This keeps your ham moist!
- Mix 2 cups of orange juice and ⅓ cup of honey together. Pour over the ham. Your ham will have a slight touch of citrus flavor along with the honey! It’s going to be so delicious!! You’ll baste the ham with all this liquid goodness because it will be at the bottom of the roasting pan. The moisture from the liquid will keep the ham moist.
- Cover ham tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes to 45 bastings every 20 minutes. The ham is already cooked so we are just giving it extra flavor by heating and basting thoroughly. Heat only to the internal temperature reaches to 140 degrees. We don’t want the ham to dry out so don’t overheat it. In fact, the ham may be warm enough after 35 minutes. There is nothing worse than a dried-out ham so be extra careful with a fully cooked ham.
- While the ham is in the oven, mix the sugars and spices together in a large bowl. Add 6 tablespoons of melted butter and ½ cup of honey to the sugar/spice mixture. Mix thoroughly. The mixture will be sticky.
- Once the ham has reached to 140 degrees. Remove the ham from the oven and uncover and let the ham rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. Pat (using your fingers) the entire back of the ham with the sugar topping.
- Now, this is when the fun begins!! We are going to caramelize the sugary spice topping so get out the blow touch and let’s go! (You might want to read the directions first. Lol!) Be sure to see my video of using the blow torch.
- Keep the flame on the torch going in a circular motion. The sugar will start to bubble and look like melted lava as it caramelizes. Later on, it will harden up to a crackly, shiny delicious shell. My favorite part!
- After you are finished caramelizing with the blow torch, let the topping harden for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with pineapple slices and cherries if desired.
- If you don’t have a blow torch, you can caramelize the sugar topping in your oven under the broiler. But be very, very careful not to burn the topping and the ham. Turn the oven to broil, and place the ham in the oven with the flat side down. Turn the roasting pan as the sugar starts to bubble to caramelize all the topping. Remove from the oven and let the topping set and harden. Serve with Honey Glaze if desired.
- To make the Honey Glaze, We’ll use the dripping from the sugar topping and about 1 ½ to 2 cups of the citrus honey dripping from the ham. Mix the drippings together and heat over medium heat until the glaze comes to a soft boil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the glaze is hot and syrupy. You can add more honey to it if you prefer a thicker glaze.
- Serve warm or cold. Wrap any leftovers in foil and store in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
Do ahead/freeze tip: You can bake and caramelize the ham 2 or 3 days ahead of serving. Keep it wrapped tightly with aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.
RECIPE NOTE: If you are cooking a raw ham, (not fully cooked) follow the same process except cook at 325 degrees until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 145 degrees. About 15 to 17 minutes per pound. So an 8-pound ham would need to cook for about 2 hours and 10 minutes or so.