Baked Ham: A Christmas Tradition

December 12, 2014 by Jenny Melrose

Last Updated on

I am absolutely thrilled that this year I will be hosting Christmas.  I’m one of those crazy women that love to put together the menu for Christmas weeks in advance.  I try to infuse a specific flavor throughout each course of the meal.  This year I’m going with Cranberry.  We’ll start out with our Zingy Cranberry & Cheese Crackers, which will enjoy with a nice tall glass {or two} of my Christmas Sangria. The main event will be my Spiral Baked Ham with Cranberries & Apples garnish.  We used to always have my Perfectly Roasted Turkey, but it has become a Christmas tradition to have a gorgeous spiral ham.

Baked Ham: A Christmas Tradition

Baked Ham

The number one thing that I have learned over the years about purchasing a spiral ham is to make sure that it is pre-sliced.  It’ll make your life so much easier.  Especially, if you don’t have a good knife like this Wusthof Classic Carving Set {yes please, Santa!}  You want it pre-sliced because you’re need to place sprigs of thyme in between each slice before cooking it so you’ll need it sliced.  My husband says the thyme gives the ham the taste of Christmas and who wouldn’t want their meal not tasting like Christmas on Christmas?!  I like to add our cranberry and apples mixture to the ham while it’s cooking, but you could always leave it for people to add to their ham after it is sliced and served.  I will be serving our Baked Ham with Honey Roasted Carrots, and of course my famous Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  I still need to nail down a couple more sides, but I’m feeling pretty good about my menu so far.

Baked Ham with Cranberries and Apples

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Baked Ham: A Christmas Tradition

A spiral baked ham with cranberries & apples.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes


  • 6 lb spiral ham bone in
  • 8-10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 8 oz cranberries
  • 2 granny smith apples cored, peeled & chunked


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.

    If your ham is not pre-sliced then you'll need to slice it so that you can place a sprig of thyme in each slice. If it is already pre-sliced then just place the sprigs in between the slices.

  2. Season the ham with salt & pepper to taste.

    In a bowl mix together the orange zest and juice from one orange with the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of honey to make the glaze.

  3. Place the ham on tinfoil long enough that it will wrap around the entire ham and enclose the glaze within.

  4. Pour half of the glaze over the ham making sure to get it into the slices.

    Tightly close up the tin foil and place the ham on a roast rack within a roasting pan with an inch of water on the bottom of the pan.

  5. Bake at 325 for an hour and a half {this is 20 mins. per lb with leaving 30 mins. at the end to up the temp. and place the cranberry & apple mixture on top.

  6. While the ham is baking, on the stove top add in the 8 oz of cranberries with the 2 granny smith apple chunks and cook while stirring over medium to high heat until all of the cranberries have popped. This should take about 10 minutes.

  7. Combine the other half of the glaze with the cooked cranberries & apples and place on top of the ham for the last 30 minutes of cooking which should occur uncovered.

    The temperature of the ham should reach 140 F to be fully cooked. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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