You might find it a bit of a surprise that this clone for America's favorite holiday ham has no honey in it. According to several
employees of the spiral-sliced ham chain that Harry J. Hoenselaar started back in 1957, honey is not a component of the sweet,
golden-brown glaze we've enjoyed on HoneyBaked hams during the holiday season. We discovered that the tender hams are delivered to
each of the 250 HoneyBaked outlets already smoked, but without the glaze. It is only when the ham gets to your local HoneyBaked store
that a special machine thin-slices the tender meat in a spiral fashion around the bone. One at a time, each ham is then coated
with granulated sugar which has been mixed with spices -- a blend that is similar to what might be used to make pumpkin pie. This
sweet coating is then caramelized with a blow torch by hand until the glaze bubbles and melts, turning golden brown. If needed, more
of the sugar-coating is added, and the blow torch is fired up until the glaze is just right. It is this careful process that turns the
same size ham that costs $10 in a supermarket into one that customers gladly shell out 3 to 4 times as much to share during this
The slicing, which will not be spiraled for this clone, will have to be performed first with a sharp knife, and then the glaze will be
applied. To get it right you must use a blow torch. If you don't have one, you can find 'em in most hardware stores for around 10 bucks.
1. First you must slice your ham. Use a very sharp knife to cut the ham into very thin slices around the bone. Do not cut all the way down to the bone or the meat may not hold together properly as it is being glazed. You want the slices to be quite thin, but not so thin that they begin to fall apart or off the bone. You may wish to turn the ham onto its flat end and cut around it starting at the bottom. You can then spin the ham as you slice around and work your way up.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl.
3. Lay down a couple sheets of wax paper onto a flat surface, such as your kitchen counter. Pour the sugar mixture onto the wax paper and spread it around evenly.
4. Pick up the ham and roll it over the sugar mixture so that it is well coated. Do not coat the flat end of the ham, just the outer surface which you have sliced through.
5. Turn the ham onto its flat end on a plate. Use a blow torch with a medium-size flame to caramelize the sugar. Wave the torch over the sugar with rapid movement, so that the sugar bubbles and browns, but does not burn. Spin the plate so that you can torch the entire surface of the ham. Repeat the coating and caramelizing process until the ham has been well-glazed (don't expect to use all of the sugar mixture). Serve the ham cold or re-heated, just like the real thing.
Makes 1 holiday ham.
1 fully cooked shank half ham (bone-in, any size)
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon paprika
dash ground ginger
dash ground allspice