Maple Ham

Mildred’s Maple-Glazed Ham with Maple Mustard

The Orton family would often serve ham for holiday dinners when everyone gathered, because no one cooked a ham like Mildred. She would start with a fresh ham, straight from a local farm, but we suggest you start with a bone-in smoked ham, more easily found in the supermarket. Fresh hams require a brine; smoked ham can go directly into the oven.

A glance at this recipe may lead you to believe it’s too simple to be worthy. Sometimes we feel the simplest things are the best — and trust us, it’s worthy. Coated with a mixture of sweet maple syrup and spicy mustard, the ham sits over a pan of hot water. As it cooks, the syrup drips into the water; the water evaporates, infusing the ham with moist flavor. With a sweet spicy and salty trifecta, when served with our homemade mustard, it is Ham Perfection.


  • 1 (8-pound) bone-in smoked ham
  • ½ cup whole cloves
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup Maple Mustard (recipe follows) or Dijon mustard, plus more for serving

Cooking Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Trim any gristle from the ham, keeping the skin and fat on. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Set a roasting rack in a deep roasting pan. Pour the boiling water into the pan so it comes to just below the rack, about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Place the ham, fat side up, on the rack, making sure the water does not touch the ham. Insert an ovenproof meat thermometer into the ham at a slight angle or through the end of the ham so the tip is in the center of the thickest part of the ham and does not touch bone or fat.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the ham from the oven and peel back and remove the skin, keeping the fat intact. Score the fat, cutting ¼-inch deep strips on an angle to create a decorative crosshatch. At the corners of each crosshatch, press a whole clove into the ham.

In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup and mustard. With a pastry brush, rub the ham with half the mustard mixture. Return the ham to the oven and bake for 30 minutes more. Remove from the oven and coat with the remaining mustard mixture. Return the ham to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more, or until the thermometer reads 135 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a carving platter. Serve with Maple Mustard.

Makes one 8-pound (bone-in) smoked ham; Serves 12

Maple Mustard

This quick spicy mustard makes a wonderful condiment for baked ham and a superior spread for sandwiches of all kinds. WE particularly like the zing it gives to all it touches.


  • ¼ black mustard seeds
  • 6 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


Combine all the ingredients in a pint-size jar, cover, and shake vigorously.

Makes 1 cup