Time is running short for special holiday dinners, so I made this one effortlessly delicious to help you squeeze it in.
The concept is pretty basic — get yourself a bone-in ham (bone-in hams tend to have more flavour), dump glaze on it, pop it in the oven, then walk away except to glaze every now and again.
The trick that puts this sweet-and-tangy ham glaze over the top — and way above your basic honey glazed ham — is spiking it with Peppadews, a small, tangy red pepper. These peppers, which look like cherry tomatoes, have a very mild heat, a pronounced sweetness and just a kick of tang. Pureed with orange juice and agave syrup, they make an awesome complement for a baked ham.
Grocers sell Peppadews both jarred and loose (at the olive bar). If you can't find them, you could substitute jarred roasted red peppers and a splash of hot sauce, or yellow banana peppers.
PEPPADEW GLAZED HAM
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup (about 6 ounces) mild Peppadew peppers, drained and patted dry
7-pound cooked, spiral-cut smoked bone-in ham
Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray.
In a blender, combine the agave, cloves, orange juice and Peppadews. Puree until smooth, then transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
Set the ham in the pan, then brush it with half of the glaze. Bake for 1 hour, brushing with additional glaze every 20 minutes. Let the ham rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition information per serving: 140 calories; 30 calories from fat (21 per cent of total calories); 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 19 g protein; 1,090 mg sodium
EDITOR'S NOTE: Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking." Follow him to great eats on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch or email him at jhirsch(at)ap.org.