Christmas Crackle Ham
- 1 uncured smoked ham , bone-in (8 pounds)
- 20 cloves , whole
- 1 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
To make glaze: In a saucepan, bring the apple cider, orange juice, 3/4 cup of brown sugar and the cayenne to a boil. Cook down by more than half until it has become thick, about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
To make ham: Using a small, sharp knife, score the ham from top to bottom on a diagonal in one direction, then in the opposite direction on a diagonal to make diamond shapes.
Place a baking rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.
Rub the Dijon mustard all over the ham, then pack 1 cup of brown sugar all around it. Stick all of the cloves in the ham.
Place the ham on the rack in the baking sheet and place into the oven for 5 to 8 minutes to crisp up the skin. Lower the heat to 325° and baste with the glaze. (A lot of the brown sugar on the ham will have dripped onto the baking pan—don't let that alarm you. Simply add 1/4 cup of hot water to the bottom of the baking sheet to loosen the sugar.)
Remove the ham from the oven and baste with more glaze. Cover with heavy foil and insert an oven-proof meat thermometer all the way through to the thickest part of the ham. Bake for 2 hours until the ham has reached the internal temperature of 140°.
Raise the temperature in the oven to 500°. Drizzle the honey all over, then brush with the glaze and bake 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from the oven and brush the remainder of the glaze.
Slice and serve warm or room temperature.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for ham sandwiches.
Don't forget to save the bone for pea soup!