Maple Glazed Ham
4 kg Leg ham
2 Oranges (, cut into quarters)
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup Maple syrup
Baking & Spices
1/2 tsp All spice
3/4 cup Brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1 Cloves
1 cup Water
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F/150C (all oven types). Arrange shelf in lower third so the ham will be sitting in the centre of the oven (not right at the top of the oven, this causes more uneven cooking on surface).

  2. Place the Glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.

  3. Remove the skin of the ham, ensuring you leave the fat on (Note 3 for steps, step photos below and refer recipe video below).

  4. Use a small sharp knife to cut 2.5cm / 1" diamonds across the fat surface of the ham. Avoid cutting into the meat.

Glaze and Baking
  1. Place the ham in a large baking dish.
  2. Squeeze the juice of 1 orange (4 quarters) over the ham. Then place them along with the remaining orange into the baking dish around the ham.
  3. Rub/brush a little bit of Glaze on the underside of the ham. Then slather about 2/3 of the remaining Glaze on the top and sides of the ham, including the cut face (save some for basting).

  4. Insert a clove in the intersection of the cross of each diamond on the surface (optional).

  5. Pour the water in the baking dish, then place in the oven.
  6. Bake for 1 1/2 hrs, basting very generously every 30 minutes, or until sticky and golden. At the first 30 minutes, slather with remaining glaze, then after that, spoon over  pan juices very generously (or dab with brush). Rotate pan if required to brown evenly.

  7. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Baste, baste, baste before serving - as the glaze in the pan cools, it thickens which it means is "paints" the ham even better - but be sure to save pan juices for drizzling. 

  8. Wrap handle with baking paper and ribbon if desired. Remove cloves. Then slice thinly - try to get a bit of the glaze on every slice! 

  9. Personal preference wether to serve at room temp or warm, I like warm. I also like to drizzle with pan juices - it looks messier but tastes fabulous. Drizzle sparingly as the glaze flavour is intense! Note juices need to be warm for drizzling, it thickens when cooled.


1. HAM: Make sure you get the ham with the skin on. Between the skin and the ham is a layer of fat which is what makes this ham gorgeously sticky. There are some hams which come with the skin and fat removed. Though you can use this recipe for those hams too, you won't get the sticky exterior you see in the photo.

Buy the best ham you can afford. The more you pay, the better the quality (read in post for description of difference). However, for an economical option, I can recommend the Woolworths Smoked Ham Leg for $9/kg (I used a half leg). I was very impressed with how great it was for such good value. There is an even cheaper one for $6/kg - I bypassed this because it wasn't smoked and looked a bit pale.

Also, make sure you get a cooked ready-to-eat ham, not a raw one (also referred to as "gammon"). All ham sold in Australia in supermarkets is ready-to-eat but if you get your ham from the butcher, double check that it's not raw. If you have a raw ham (gammon), this recipe is not suitable.

2. Any larger than 5 kg/10 lb ham, scale the glaze by using the recipe slider (click on the Servings)

3. Removing the skin of the ham (refer VIDEO and step by step photos below):
- Using a small knife, cut through the skin around the top of the ham handle.
- On the cut surface of the ham (i.e. the side that the pink ham is showing), run the knife between the skin and the fat, then insert your fingers and run your fingers around the ham to separate it even more. Leave as much fat as possible - that's what makes your ham gorgeous and golden.
- Starting in one corner, peel back the skin. As you pull back more, insert your fingers between the fat and the skin to assist. Use knife if required to assist.
- Repeat with the skin on the underside of the ham.

4. SERVING: I like to place the uncut ham on the table as a centrepiece, then when ready to eat, slice it and pile the slices onto a plate. Add orange quarters for decoration, then drizzle over pan juices if desired (or serve on the side). Mustard is also great - Dijon and/or Hot.


a) PREPARE THEN BAKE FRESH: Remove skin, cut fat, insert cloves, make glaze. Then refrigerate until required, then glaze etc  and bake on the day of per recipe.

b) COOK AHEAD: Elevate the handle of the ham by propping it on the edge of the baking dish (or use ramekin) so the surface of the ham is as level as possible. Then follow recipe but bake at 180C/350F for around 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes, until golden and sticky. Then cover loosely with foil and cool, then refrigerate. To reheat, remove from fridge and bring to room temperature, then reheat covered loosely with foil in a 160C/320F oven for 40 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the middle comes out warm. When the inside is warm, remove foil and baste, then bake until the surface is sticky and golden - it should not take long. 

The juices thicken into a jelly when cool so it needs to be reheated (microwave is fine).

DO NOT MICROWAVE!!! It can make the fat diamonds "pop" and you might lose the best part - the golden, sticky surface!

7. SERVINGS: If ham is the main protein, I would cater for 250g/8oz ham per person (including bone, so excluding is about 200g/7oz). So a 4kg/8lb ham would serve 16 people. 

8. Nutrition per serving, assuming 25 servings for a 4.5 kg / 9 lb bone in ham. I assumed the bone was 500g / 1 lb. 

Recipe Source:


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