Chef's Recipes

Baked Berkshire ham with lemon jam, pickled onion and red melon

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for baked Berkshire ham with lemon jam, pickled onion and red melon.

By Ben Shewry
  • Serves 12
  • 1 hr 15 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 30 mins cooking plus cooling
Baked Berkshire ham with lemon jam, pickled onion and red melon
Baked Berkshire ham with lemon jam, pickled onion and red melon

“This recipe is just the emperor’s new clothes! Often things that seem new are a new take on an old idea. This is really a fresh take on something with a rich history: the baked ham.” Shewry garnishes his ham with dune spinach, which he gathers from near his home on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula.


  • 1 free-range boneless leg ham (about 5kg)
Lemon jam
  • 500 gm lemon segments (about 15 lemons), juice reserved
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 500 gm caster sugar
  • 10 gm pectin (see note)
Pickled onion purée
  • 1 sealed jar pickled onions (525gm)
  • 1½ tsp finely grated fresh (or jarred) horseradish
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, coarsely grated
Red melon
  • 4 beetroot, juiced to yield 450ml
  • 50 ml red wine vinegar
  • 800 gm watermelon (about ½ small)


  • 1
    For lemon jam, bring lemon segments, juice and cinnamon to the simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Combine sugar and pectin and slowly whisk into lemon mixture until incorporated and dissolved (3-5 minutes). Increase heat to medium and cook until mixture reaches 108C on a sugar thermometer (20-25 minutes). Remove from heat, pour into a sterile container, cool to room temperature then refrigerate until required. Lemon jam will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks. Makes about 600gm.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 150C. Place ham in a roasting bag, seal, place on a wire rack in oven and cook until warmed through (1½-2 hours).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for pickled onion purée, place jar in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the simmer over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool completely in liquid before opening. Drain onions (reserve liquid), place in a blender with horseradish and xanthan gum, blend until smooth (add a little pickling liquid if necessary) and season to taste, adding a little sugar if necessary. Pass through a fine sieve, set aside. Just before serving, stir through grated apple.
  • 4
    For red melon, simmer beetroot juice and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 150ml (20-25 minutes), cool. Cut watermelon into 1.5cm-thick, 10cm-long batons and place in a large bowl. Just before serving, toss with beetroot reduction, season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • 5
    Slice ham, top with lemon jam and serve with pickled onion purée and red melon.


Pectin and and xanthan gum are available from select health-food shops.
This recipe is from the December 2010 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Perfumed blend of riesling, pinot gris and/or gewürztraminer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen

  • Author: Ben Shewry