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Cider-glazed baby ham with ginger and cardamom

Christmas Classics with Emma Knowles

By Emma Knowles
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking plus standing
  • Serves 15
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  • 550 ml dry apple cider
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • 125 ml (½ cup) unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp finely grated ginger
  • 40 ml apple liqueur
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp each ground cardamom and ground ginger
  • 150 ml maple syrup
  • 5 kg leg of cooked ham


  • 1
    Combine 250ml cider, mustard, pineapple juice, vinegar, ginger, apple liqueur and spices in a small saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes. Add maple syrup, simmer for another 5 minutes and set aside.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cut around shank end of ham, then, using your hands and starting at the rounded end, gently peel back the skin from the leg to the shank being careful not to tear the fat. Remove skin in a single piece and reserve.
  • 3
    Score the fat, using a sharp knife, in a crosshatch pattern, about 4cm apart. Place ham on a wire rack inside a roasting pan.
  • 4
    Brush ham with cider mixture, then pour remaining cider and half the cider mixture into base of pan and bake at 180C, brushing frequently with reserved glaze and pan juices until glazed and golden (50 minutes–1 hour), adding extra cider or water to pan during cooking if necessary. Remove from oven and stand for 10 minutes before serving warm or at room temperature. Ham will keep, refrigerated in a ham bag, for up to 7 days. Cover with reserved skin to keep skin moist.