In this recipe, the ham is first glazed to give it that delicious caramelized flavour synonymous with Christmas ham. Then the fruit, having been mixed with the glaze, is pressed all over the ham to give it a luscious, jewel-like finish.
1 whole cooked leg of ham (I used free-farmed)
300 grams dried cranberries
100 grams glacé peaches or apricots, finely chopped
1 cup orange marmalade
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons grain mustard
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Preheat the oven to 170˚C.
Glaze: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Ham: Remove the skin from the ham using your fingertips to gently prise it away, taking care not to damage the layer of fat underneath. Leave the skin on the hock.
Place the ham in a large aluminium foil-lined baking dish and pour in a little water or orange juice. This stops the glaze from burning on the base of the dish.
Spread the glaze thickly over the ham and roast for 1½ - 2 hours, basting every 20 minutes. Keep adding a little juice or water to the dish so the glaze doesn’t catch and burn. The glaze is an important part of finishing the ham. Turn the dish several times during cooking for even colouring of the ham.
Carefully lift the ham onto a large platter and scrape the thick glaze from the base of the dish into a bowl. Spoon off any fat and discard. Add the cranberries and half the peaches and combine until all the fruit is well coated in the sticky glaze. Let the ham cool until just warm otherwise the fruit will slide off.
Using your fingers, and starting on the top, pat the fruit onto the ham, pressing it on evenly. This is messy but it’s the best way of getting the fruit to stick.
Scatter the remaining chopped peaches over the top. Wrap the ham hock in a long piece of banana leaf and tie with string to secure.
If you are cooking a half ham, simply reduce the quantities of the glaze and topping by half.