Honey-caramel ham. Just saying it makes my mouth water. A decadent, savoury-sweet holiday treat, this Easter ham recipe has made me a firm ham convert. I could give or take it before, but now… I’m craving another just writing about it…
OK, I’ll give you the recipe first, and then I’ll go make another. Let’s make this quick!
For this recipe, I just used a typical grocery store ham as I think those are a good starting point and a lot easier to manage when you’re handling all of the other holiday dishes and planning! “Butcher-style hams” come with quite a bit of fat on them that has to be rendered or boiled off (and can be used later for making rice, split pea soup, etc).
Either way, if you want to attempt the larger “on the bone” ham or stick with this pre-trimmed ham, this recipe still works perfectly and tastes delicious.
(And don’t forget to check out the bottom of the post where I link to the other recipes we’re enjoying this Easter.)
How to Make a Honey-Caramel Ham
First, gather your ingredients and tools:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 2 cups water
- 5-10lb ham (for a larger ham, you may need to increase the recipe and cooking time)
- Small saucepan
- Deep baking tray with lid or tin foil
- Sharp paring knife
- Measuring cup
- Meat thermometer
First, you’re going to want to “score” your ham by using the paring knife to cut a grid-like pattern into your ham, at least half an inch deep. If you’re using a ham similar to mine, you can follow most of the lines, but I skipped every second line on the horizontal cuts.
Add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching the pan or drying out the ham.
Meanwhile, combine the honey, brown sugar, and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes. You can stir the mixture a bit at first to encourage the ingredients to mix, but try to resist the urge as the honey-brown sugar mixture is thickening into a caramel as that can actually increase the chances of it burning. Once the mixture is thickened and starting to bubble, remove it immediately from the heat.
Pour the honey-caramel mixture into a glass measuring cup for ease and pour on top of the ham. It should run into those cuts and create a thick layer of sticky caramel over the whole ham.
Using a spoon, scoop up some of the honey-caramel mixture from the pan (or from the measuring cup) and pour it into any of the cuts that you think the caramel didn’t flow into. There’s no such thing as too much glaze or caramel goodness with this recipe, so definitely err on the side of over-saturating some areas rather than missing any.
Cover with tinfoil and bake at 325F, about 15-20 minutes per pound.
Check with the meat thermometer about 2/3 through the cooking time to get an idea as to how much longer your ham needs. You don’t want to risk over-cooking, which can happen if your oven runs too hot or the water evaporates through a hole in the lid or tinfoil.
Use the time that the honey-caramel ham is baking to prepare your other holiday dishes.
Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 145F. Pull it out of the oven and let it rest at least 10 minutes.
If you like a blackened, crispy edge to your ham – remove the tinfoil and set the oven to broil for a couple minutes.
After letting the ham set for a bit after removing from the oven, spoon any extra honey caramel glaze (from the pan) over the ham for a last bit of a sweetness and moisture.
And there you have it! This Honey-Caramel ham is sweet and savoury, a decadent main dish for your holiday celebrations – or just a special supper! (Look at the bottom of the post for a free printable recipe.)
What will you be making for your holiday supper?
Check out our full collection of Easter spread recipes, including:
- Easy Devilled Eggs
- Mayo-free Caesar Salad (with homemade croutons!)
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting & Caramel Drizzle
- Cream Egg Cake
And stay tuned for our collection of recipe to use up any leftover Easter ham!
Here’s your free printable Honey-Caramel Ham recipe: