Happy Holidays

I hope everyone had a good Christmas or a good holiday, celebrating the season however you enjoy celebrating it.  I love the Christmas season.  My only complaint is that I wish it would last longer.  I certainly wish all the good cheer and good will towards others lasted longer.   Christmas Eve was a very quiet one, with just the two of us.  It was too quiet for my tastes, but for Christmas Day we got together with friends and family and all had a good time.  We had quite the feast, with everyone contributing to the meal.   Everything was delicious too.  For me, the good will of the season continues, and I hope it does for all of you as well.

For Christmas Eve, even though it was just the two of us, I made a big ham, with an apple whiskey and brown sugar sauce.  I am sure there are a few more ham recipes and ideas in our very near future, since there was quite a bit leftover.  Don’t let the charred crusts fool you.  They were crispy and tasted just perfect with the sweet, apple whiskey and brown sugar sauce served on top.  YUMMY!


 Brown Sugar Crusted ham with Apple Whiskey Sauce

7-10 lb bone-in ham, thawed

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp cloves

1 1/2 TBSP dry mustard

5-6 TBSP apple whiskey (or bourbon or whiskey of your choice)

3 1/2 cups apple cider or flavored cider

3 TBSP maple syrup

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 TBSP cornstarch

2 TBSP water



Preheat the oven to 350* F

Pat dry the ham with a paper towel and place it on a rack in a large, deep baking dish.  Remove all the excess skin and fat from the ham and discard.

Mix the brown sugar, dry mustard and apple whiskey together until it forms a thick paste.  Then generously rub all over the ham.  Pour about 2 1/2/ cups of the cider into the pan, filling it to about 1/4 inch in depth, but not touching the bottom of the ham.



Once the ham is completely coated with the brown sugar mix, it is time to place it in the oven, uncovered.  Bake the ham for about 15 minutes per pound.   After the ham is cooked, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 20 minutes before starting to carve it.  This allows for the juices to distribute .

While the ham is resting, it is time to make the sauce.    Pour the juices from the pan into a saucepan and add the rest of the cider and the maple syrup and a dash more whiskey.  Bring to a boil, then add mix the cornstarch mixed with 2 TBSP of water and add to the sauce.  Bring to a boil again, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.  It is now ready to serve on top of the ham.  I served the ham alongside scalloped potatoes and green beans with garlic, mushrooms, shallots, and red pepper and biscuits.  I served a dry chardonnay with the meal to make it just perfect.  Happy Holidays everyone.



Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

8 thoughts on “Happy Holidays”

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