Christmas Recipes - Baked Ham with spiced fruits

One of Lishmans Great Yorkshire Hams. Photography by Andy Bulmer.

One of Lishmans Great Yorkshire Hams. Photography by Andy Bulmer. - Credit: andrew bulmer

There’s nothing more delicious on Boxing Day than a festive style baked ham. Our food and drink consultant Annie Stirk shows how to make the most of this traditional tea

I didn’t soak this ham because Lishman’s hams use less salt in the curing process but do check with your own butcher if you do need to soak your particular ham overnight before following the recipe below.

There are plenty of smaller cuts of ham available – try a corner gammon.

Serves – a big festive crowd


1 whole ham – or a size to suit your family

4 oranges, sliced

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250g selection of ready to eat dried fruit – pineapple, dates, papaya, prunes, figs, mango, apricots, etc

3-4 star anise

1 cinnamon stick – broken

4 tbsp runny honey

300ml apple juice or local cider


6 tbsp runny honey (for the glaze)


Pre heat the oven to 180C / 170C fan / gas mark 5.

You will need a large turkey-sized tray if you are cooking a whole ham. Lay a large piece of foil on the base of the tray, leaving plenty to cover the ham.

Arrange the sliced oranges in the tray and then scatter the dried fruit on top, along with the star anise and cinnamon stick. Drizzle with the 4tbsp of runny honey. Pour in the apple juice or cider.

Fold the foil over the ham so it is completely enclosed and place in a hot oven for about 5-6 hours. But do check this timing as ovens and Agas do vary. Use a thermometer to check the temperature - the centre of the ham should be approximately 74C.

Once the ham is cooked remove carefully from the oven. Lift the ham out of the tray and strip away the foil. Spoon the dried fruits into a serving dish.

Place the ham back into the roasting tray and strip away the rind, leaving the fat. Criss-cross the fat, cutting through almost to the meat, to create diamond shapes. Place a clove in the centre of each square. Drizzle with the runny honey.

Turn the oven up to approximately 200-220C / gas mark 6-7 and return the ham to the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until glazed and golden brown. Do be careful here, the honey will caramelise very quickly so don’t relax too much with that glass of mulled wine.

Remove the ham from the oven and serve on a large platter garnished with orange slices, pomegranates, etc.

Hamming it up

• Cooking a whole ham is best done in the oven but for smaller cuts, such as a corner gammon, I prefer to boil them first in a large pan before glazing with honey.

• Hot glazed ham is moist and delicious. Serve with a variety of fruity or spicy chutneys.

• Cut thick slices of ham and serve with fat chips and a couple of fried eggs.

• Ham and eggs Benedict – warm the ham then serve on a toasted muffin, topped with a poached egg and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Great for brunch.

• Ham sandwich with English mustard on granary bread- is there a nicer lunch?

• Turkey and ham pie - use diced cooked ham pieces and turkey left-overs, cover with white sauce and a crisp pastry crust.

• If you boil ham save the stock to make a delicious pea and ham soup – great after a bracing Boxing Day walk.

• A full ham will give you 60-70 slices – perfect for a party.

Six of the best Christmas hams from Yorkshire