Holiday Ham With Herb Crust and Brown Sugar Cider Glaze

Total Time
2hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs

This has been our holiday ham for many years. I started with my Grandmother's recipe for a brown sugar ham, adding the herb crust and using a few tips I've read over the years. The tip of starting with a higher temperature is from the show America's Test Kitchen. The leftover ham is good for sandwiches and can be frozen. If you are making this for Christmas, save the ham bone to cook with some black-eyed peas for a traditional, Southern, New Years Day.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Lay ham out on counter and allow it to warm up on a metal rack in a roaster or on a baking sheet while you work. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small food processor, combine the chopped garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil and process about 10 seconds. Add the fresh herbs and process about 10 seconds, scrape the sides, then process until there are no large pieces of herbs left. Using serrated knife, cut the outside skin/fat layer of the ham into a diamond pattern, taking care not to go deeper than the outer layer. Rub the herb glaze onto the ham. Note that ham should be on the counter a total of 30-60 minutes before you put it into the oven.
  3. Make glaze: on medium heat in a small saucepan, dissolve brown sugar, cider, cloves and ginger and let it gently boil about 5-10 minutes until it is a little bit syrupy. Stir every so often and check consistency by letting it drip from the spoon.
  4. Put the ham in the oven (no glaze yet) for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pull ham out, glaze with 1/3 cup of liquid (take care not to remove the cloves or ginger). Add some water or white wine (1/8 cup) to the bottom of the pan to prevent any drippings from burning. Turn down heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes. Glaze again, taking care to make sure the bottom of the pan is not burning the rub and adding water if needed. Bake another 30 minutes. Remove the cloves and ginger from glaze and pour any remaining liquid over ham. Cook another 20-30 minutes. You can check with a thermometer if you want to be sure, but remember that the ham is pre-cooked so as long as the middle is warm, you are done.
  5. Remove ham from oven and place on a carving board. Let it stand for 20 minutes before you slice it.