Baked Ham is a holiday tradition for many families and this ham will be the talk of the party. Ham glaze is what gives ham a lot of flavor and it’s bursting with sweet and sour flavors. This glaze features cherry preserves, fresh lemon juice, and aromatic spices. It’s truly a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table.
Don’t miss another delicious glaze option in my Orange Honey Baked Ham recipe.
Delicious Ham With Cherry Ham Glaze
If it was up to me, I would be serving ham for every holiday dinner. It is the easiest meat to cook since it comes fully cooked and you can variate the flavors with ham glaze.
Baking the ham is incredibly easy and it comes out juicy, tender, and so flavorful. Moist and tender meat on the inside of the ham is wonderful but the best part is the crunchy, flavorful outside. With ham, it’s all about the glaze. Glaze will add the best sweet, tangy, and a little sour flavors to your ham. They key is in the balance of the flavors. It shouldn’t be just sweet, it should have some opposite flavors to balance out the sweetness.
City ham is what we most commonly see at the grocery stores and they are fully cooked. You can get them with or without the bone. Some city ham even comes already spiral sliced, which would save the carving time at the end.
This cherry glaze is sweet with a touch of sourness from the fresh lemon juice. My favorite part is the aromatic spices that compliments the ham flavors perfectly. It gives this glaze a great holiday touch.
To Make The Cherry Ham Glaze
Ham glaze is very easy to make at home and you have full control over the ingredients, so don’t worry about buying one at the store. Simply combine cherry preserve, lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar, and spices in a small sauce pot.
Whisk all the ingredients together until blended and bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat. Simmer for a couple of minutes and take off heat.
TIP: simmer the glaze for just a couple of minutes. It may look a little thin at first but remember that the glaze will thicken as it cools. You don’t want the glaze to turn back into jam or it will be too hard to spread.
For spiral cut ham, there is no need to score the top.
For the ham that was not been pre-sliced you want to make sure to score the outside skin. Make cuts across the skin that are about 1/4-1/2 inch deep, forming diamond shapes.
Cover bottom of the roasting pan with aluminum foil to catch the drippings and add a couple cups of water.
Take ham out of the package and discard the packet of glaze that came with it (if any). Place ham on a couple of sheets of aluminum foil and glaze it all over with about half the glaze. Wrap ham tightly in foil and place on the rack inside the roasting pan (flat side down if using half ham).
Bake for about an hour and a half covered (calculate about 15 minutes per pound).
Take ham out of the oven to glaze and close the oven door. Raise oven temperature to 400°. Unwrap the ham and generously glaze with more glaze.
Put it back in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 20-30 more minutes until internal temperature is 140° (for “fully cooked” ham).
Frequently Asked Questions:
Fully cooked ham comes in bone-in and boneless options. Estimate about 3/4 pound per person for bone-in ham and 1/2 pound per person for boneless ham. Don’t forget, there are many things you can make with leftovers, so aim for a couple extra pounds just in case.
Since the ham is labeled “fully cooked,” the goal is to simply re-heat it throughout.
When calculating total bake time, estimate 15-20 minutes per pound for half ham that’s 5-8 lbs. Estimate 10-15 minutes per pound for whole ham that’s 10-14 lbs.
Most importantly, internal temperature should be at 140° closest to the bone or in the center.
**Note: If your ham is labeled “cook before eating,” cook ham at 350° until internal temperature reaches 160°.
Most common ham that is available in grocery stores is called city ham. It’s fully cooked, comes with or without bone, and most are spiral cut. This ham can be bought as a whole or a half.
City ham is a breeze to prepare because it’s already cooked. The goal is to get flavor infused into it with glaze and re-heat it through to the right temperature.
Boneless or bone-in will work but bone-in tends to have more flavor. Getting a spiral cut ham will make it easier on you.
Side and Serving Suggestions:
Baked Ham with Cherry Ham Glaze
- 6-10 lbs fully cooked ham bone in or boneless, spiral cut or not cut
Cherry Ham Glaze:
- 1 cup cherry preserve spreadable
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 ripe lemon juice and zest
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- If cherry preserve has large chunks of cherries, pulse it in a blender.
- Combine cherry preserve, lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar, and spices in a small sauce pot.
- Whisk all the ingredients together until blended and bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat.
- Simmer for a couple of minutes and take off heat.
- Preheat oven to 325°. Cover bottom of the roasting pan with aluminum foil to catch the drippings and add a couple cups of water.
- (If using spiral cut ham, there is no need to score it.) If using uncut ham, make sure to score the outer skin. Using a sharp knife, make cuts across the skin that are about 1/4-1/2 inch deep, forming diamond shapes.
- Place ham on a couple of sheets of aluminum foil and glaze it all over with about half of the glaze. Wrap ham tightly in foil and place on the rack inside the roasting pan (flat side down if using half ham).
- Bake for about an hour and a half covered (calculate about 15 minutes per pound).
- Take ham out of the oven to glaze and close the oven door.
- Raise oven temperature to 400°.
- Unwrap the ham and generously glaze with more glaze.
- Put it back in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 more minutes, until internal temperature is 140° (for “fully cooked” ham).
- **Note: If your ham is labeled “cook before eating,” cook ham at 350° until internal temperature reaches 160°.
Connie Green says
Best cherry glaze recipe I have ever made!!!
Awesome! I am so glad you liked it!
Excellent, I usually make double the batch of glaze.
Thanks, Dustin! A double batch of glaze is a good idea!
Leslie Wrobel says
I just made this for Christmas Eve dinner (knowing we were going to have leftovers) and it is amazing! This is definitely my new go to recipe. It even makes delicious grilled ham and cheese sandwiches! Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas! I am so glad you liked the ham!
Lydia Reeds says
Great glaze! Great way to cook my favorite ham – a spiral cut half ham. Yummy! this will be my go to recipe!
This ham is amazing! Thank you!
Thank you! So glad you liked it!
Joyce Bentley says
Love the recipe and clear instructions. I just happened to have a new jar of cherry preserves waiting for inspiration other than cookie centers. This was a tasty way to make ham more flavorful. I rarely comment, but I love and save many of your recipes and enjoy your blog. Thank You.
Awe, thank you so much, Joyce!! I really hope you like it. (I will be making this ham again for our Christmas dinner 😉 It’s so tasty )