We love ham at Christmas and Easter especially. But I always like to make some kind of topping and sauce for it, and especially if you serve rice or potatoes on the side you can drizzle the delicious juice over it. Here are two yummy choices, both easy and SO tasty!
Bake the ham according to package directions, and the last 15 minutes or so pour the sauce over and continue baking, basting every few minutes. Then cook about 15 minutes more. OR, cover with foil and set oven to 200 and warm till party time. (up to an hour or so)
Those cherries you see are expensive, so you may not want to use 1/2 a jar, which is what I started with, and guess what: I boiled them too long and burnt them! There goes $11.00 bucks! So why don’t you just go get a nice package of frozen dark pitted cherries! That works too.
1 pkg. frozen dark sweet pitted cherries
1 cup simple syrup (1 cup water/1 cup sugar)
2 Tbs. to 1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup grape jelly (I have used other flavors–even orange marmalade was great!)
Make a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water). Boil until the sugar dissolves. Add a package of cherries, the brandy and the jelly. Simmer a few more minutes, till the syrup thickens slightly. Pour over ham, put back in the oven and cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Or, pour over ham, cover with foil and set oven to 200 degrees till party time (this can be up to an hour or so)
PINEAPPLE/BROWN SUGAR SAUCE
1/2 stick butter + 1 tsp corn starch
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. rum* (*Alcohol is optional. But it adds a nice ‘Pina Colada’ flavor). I have even tried Kahlua. Another taste treat!
1/2 cup jelly or jam
*Here again you can add about 1/2 cup jelly or jam–just make it a light color. Apple? Orange marmalade? Pineapple if you can find it! ALSO: I often lay sliced canned pineapple on top with cherries in the hole like gramma did and then cover it with the sauce.
In a skillet melt the butter with the cornstarch. Add pineapple, sugar and rum. boil 5 minutes or until the alcohol has dissipated and the sauce is slightly thick. Pour over ham and bake as above (15 minutes at 350 or cover tightly and 200 for up to 1 1/2 hours)
THESE SAUCES ARE VERY SWEET, BUT THEY GO WITH SALTY HAM PERFECTLY.
Note: Did you ever go on a trip and buy (or were given) all kinds of exotic jams, jellies? They usually sit on a shelf for years. This is when I get them out and experiment with them in sauces. Thats how I discovered how wonderful fig jam is on a crostini with mascarpone cheese or spreadable brie. So delish!! Ask me how I know….
PS: did you notice how much sauce was left over in my ham picture above? There was at least 1 & 1/2 cups. Guess what I did with it? In my Instapot I cooked a package of red kidney beans (white beans would have worked too) and used that sauce to flavor them. The finished product was a nice pot of beans with a sweet sauce (very much like BBQ beans from my Mom). A nice memory.