As it turns out, not all Easter hams have to come from a shiny foil package. For a homemade version that does away with the powdered glaze, NYC chef Jody Williams (who's opening a Tokyo outpost of her beloved bistro, Buvette, next week) reduces apple cider, brandy and spicy whole-grain mustard into a shiny lacquer that she brushes onto the roast as it bakes in the oven.
The end result is ham with a sticky, sweet and savory crust that's the key to Williams's only piece of advice when making the recipe: "Be sure to use the leftover ham for sandwiches the next day!"
Round out your Easter meal with our best side dishes.
Apple Cider & Mustard Glazed Ham
Recipe adapted from Jody Williams, Buvette, NY
Yield: 14 to 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus resting time
Cook Time: 2 hours and 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, plus resting time
One 12-to-14-pound cured smoked bone-in ham, skin removed if needed
4 cups unfiltered apple cider
½ cup honey
1 cup brandy or cognac
4 thyme sprigs
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard, like Maille
2 tablespoons butter
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Place the ham on a roasting rack fitted into a rimmed roasting pan. Score the top fat side with a knife, cutting down about ½ inch in the pattern of a grid. This will allow the sweet-and-savory glaze to season beneath the surface of the ham.
2. Pour two cups of water into the bottom of the roasting pan to help keep the ham moist as it roasts. Set the ham aside to rest at room temperature until the glaze is ready.
3. In a small saucepan, simmer the apple cider until it is reduced to 1 cup and has thickened into a shiny syrup. Stir in the honey, brandy, thyme sprigs and sliced shallots. Bring the mixture back to a simmer and reduce the glaze back to 1 cup.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the glaze through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the shallots and thyme sprigs. Stir the whole-grain mustard and butter into the warm glaze and taste for salt and pepper.
5. Brush the ham with half the glaze and roast, basting every 20 minutes with pan juices. After 30 minutes in the oven, brush the remaining glaze over the ham. Tent with foil if browning too quickly, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of ham registers 135°, 1½ to 2 hours.
6. Remove the ham from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Slice the ham and serve it alongside roast asparagus, spring onions and first-of-the-season spring greens.