Easter Maple Glazed Ham

by | Mar 28, 2022 | Featured, Pork


Glazed Ham for Easter Lunch sounds incredible! It’s not as big a tradition in Australia as it is in the Northern Hemisphere, but there are still plenty of people down under who enjoy a nice ham for Easter Lunch!

One reason ham became the meat of choice for Easter in the Northern Hemisphere is because it was available. Historically, pigs were slaughtered in fall and cured over the winter. They were ready to eat once spring arrived and the Lenten fast ended


Maple Glazed Ham

How to make Glazed Ham

Making Glazed Ham is a 3 step process:

  1. Remove rind (skin) from ham;
  2. Slather with maple glaze then bake for 2 hours, basting with more glaze every 20 to 30 minutes;
  3. Baste loads after removing from oven – the trick for a thick, golden glaze!


If this is the part you’re worried about – don’t be! The skin is thick, sturdy and WANTS to come off – so it peels off with little effort, mostly in one piece!

Here’s how to remove the rind from the ham. The recipe video below also provides a visual tutorial – and if you’re new to making Glazed Ham, start here ->


This part couldn’t be easier – just brush or spoon the Maple Ham Glaze all over the ham, squeeze over the orange juice then pop it into the oven to bake, spooning over reserved glaze every 20 minutes or so!


Now here’s the trick for an incredible glaze on your ham – baste LOADS after it comes out of the oven using the syrupy sauce in the baking pan! As that syrupy sauce cools, it will thicken and darken slightly in colour, so as you brush or spoon it over the ham, it creates an incredible thick to-die-for glaze!



  • 5 kg free range leg ham, bone in, skin on
  • 30 Cloves (for studding the ham, optional – mainly for decorative purposes)
  • 2 oranges , cut into quarters
  • 1 cup water


  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp All Spice (or nutmeg)


  1. Take ham out of fridge 1 hour prior.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan). Arrange shelf in lower third so the ham will be sitting in the centre of the oven (rather than in top half of oven).
  3. Place the Glaze ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined – use whisk if needed.



  1. Run small knife around bone handle, down each side of the ham, and under the rind on the cut face. (See photos in post)
  2. Slide fingers under the rind on the cut face of the ham, and run them back and forth to loosen while pulling the rind back. Use knife if needed to slice off any residual rind.
  3. Lightly cut 2.5cm / 1″ diamonds across the fat surface of the ham, about 75% of the way into the fat. Avoid cutting into the meat.
  4. Insert a clove in the intersection of the cross of each diamond on the surface (optional).


  1. Place the ham in a large baking dish. Prop bone/hock up on edge of pan + scrunched up foil so surface of the ham is level (for more even caramelisation).
  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. Brush / spoon half the glaze all over the surface and cut face of the ham (don’t worry about underside, glaze drips down into pan)
  4. Pour the water in the baking dish, then place in the oven.
  5. Bake for 1.5 – 2 hrs, basting very generously every 30 minutes with remainig glaze + juices in pan, or until sticky and golden.
  6. Use foil patches to protect bits that brown faster than others – press on lightly, caramelisation won’t peel off with the foil.
  7. Allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving. Baste, baste, baste before serving – as the glaze in the pan cools, it thickens which means it “paints” the ham even better – but be sure to save pan juices for drizzling. 


    • My favourite sauce: Use pan juices as the sauce – it’s loaded with flavour! Pour into a jug and warm so it’s pourable. Thin slightly with water if required. Drizzle sparingly as the glaze flavour is intense!
    • Other condiments: Dijon mustard, wholegrain mustard, onion jam, tomato chutney, cranberry sauce.
    • Presentation: Wrap handle with baking paper and ribbon if desired. Remove cloves. Cover serving platter with lots of green fluffage, then place ham on. Surround with more quartered oranges, for colour. Let people admire before carving!
    • Serving: Personal preference whether to serve at room temp or warm, I like either. I also like to drizzle with pan juices – it looks messier but tastes fabulous. Slice thinly! I start slicing at the table, then finish it in the kitchen (towards end when it gets messy!)
    • Storing: Will keep for at least a week in the fridge if properly stored using a water-vinegar soaked ham bag or pillowcase. Otherwise freeze – don’t forget the bone! See How to Store Glazed Ham for directions.


    Recipe Notes:

    1. HAM:

    • Skin (rind) on ham – Make sure you get the ham with the skin on (rind – thick rubbery skin). 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.
    • Half or whole – this recipe can be used for half or whole hams.
    • Larger hams – For larger hams, scale the glaze by using the recipe slider (click on the Servings)
    • Ham quality – Buy the best ham you can afford. The more you pay, the better the quality. Free Range & Australian Grown is the best!


    2. Oranges – you can’t taste it in the end result, it just adds more flavour into the pan drippings and the glaze the ham. If you really can’t use or stand oranges, use 1/2 cup apple or other fruit juice instead (store bought bottle is fine) and skip putting oranges in baking pan.

    3. Make Ahead – Glazed Ham is excellent made ahead, it’s how I do it most of the time!

    a) PREPARE THEN BAKE FRESH (100% perfect): Remove skin, cut fat, insert cloves, make glaze and store separately. Then refrigerate until required, then glaze etc  and bake on the day of per recipe.

    b) COOK AHEAD (99.9% perfect): Make entirely per recipe, cool. Transfer to non reactive container (do not leave in metal tray), cover sticky surface with baking paper (parchment paper) then the whole ham with foil. Scrape every bit of juice in the pan into a container. Refrigerate both for up to 5 days (longer probably ok, I’ve done 5 days).

    To reheat, remove from fridge and bring to room temperature, pour sauce into pan and place ham in pan. Reheat covered loosely with foil in a 160°C/320°F 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 with pan juices, then bake until the surface is sticky and golden –  it shouldn’t take much longer than 10 minutes.

    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!

    4. How much ham per person – remember, ham is salty, people don’t typically eat giant slabs like steak and you slice it thinly so less goes further.

    • With other main dishes – 6 to 8 people per 1 kg  ham (bone in weight). So a 5 kg ham = 30 – 40 people, about 100 – 130g  per person.
    • As the only main protein – 5 people per 1 kg ham (bone in weight). So a 5 kg ham would serve 25 people, about 150g meat per person.