Merry Christmas or other holiday!

You may have missed it, but it is Christmas – I know it crept up on me. It is tradition in our family to have a glazed ham at some point whether on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. This year as we were going the Griswold Birks Family Christmas at Buderium on the big day, we were intending to have a Christmas Eve shin dig however, life intervened, and it ended up being a get together with a very small group of friends rather than a family affair. The glazed ham got some rave reviews so I thought I would share my glaze recipe with you. Enjoy! R x

 

Glaze that Ham!

EASY GLAZE FOR YOUR HOLIDAY HAM

INGREDIENTS
4kg Leg or Shoulder Ham
NB: I tend to buy the smallest but tastiest looking one as I have a tiny oven

1 tin of sliced pineapple (or you can use fresh – go nuts)
1 packet of glace cherries
Whole cloves to stud the beast
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon of seed honey mustard
1/4 cup of mandarin (or orange) juice
AND toothpicks

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Put the ham on a rack, in a roasting pan, and then put some water in the pan – you don’t want to water to touch the ham. (The water helps keep the ham moist, and also makes cleaning up way, way easier). Bake for 1 hour.
  3. Take the ham out of the oven, and remove the skin carefully – don’t take the fat off; just the skin. I use a knife and tongs for this process.
  4. Next, score the surface to make a diamondish/grid/lattice pattern.
  5. Cut cherries in half, and skewer a cherry piece and a pineapple piece on a toothpick, and jam it into the ham – preferably in the grid but if you aren’t a ‘colour inside the lines’ person, do what you feel.
  6. Mix the juice, sugar, honey and mustard to form the glaze, and using a basting/pastry brush, paint it all over the the ham and pineapple/cherry bits and the bare faces of the ham.
  7. Put the ham back into the oven for about 20-30 mins basting about every 10-mins or so.
  8. Take it out when it looks awesome, and present to your awe-struck family.
Happy Holidays!

 

3 Ingredient Fruit Cake for Christmas

I was helping out my Mum on the weekend by cutting up the extra fruit for a fruit cake she was baking for homemade Christmas gifts, and was super stunned when the recipe had ONLY 3 Ingredients. Seriously?! Usually recipes that claim to use few ingredients rely on a well stocked pantry – but not this one! Take that 4 ingredient cookbooks! So I’ve decided to share it here for your baking pleasure. A little warning though – it works out best if you leave the fruit soaking over night, so this isn’t a great cake for those situations requiring baked goods on short notice.

MUM’S AMAZING FRUIT CAKEA slice (or two) of heaven - Mum's Awesome Fruit Cake
Makes 1 square cake or 2 bar cakes

INGREDIENTS:

1 kg Dried Fruit
600ml Iced Coffee
2 cups Self-raising Flour

  1. Combine dried fruit, and iced coffee in a mixing bowl. Cover with cling-film, and refrigerate overnight (a few hours works but it is way tastier if you do it the night before.)
  2. Preheat an oven to 180C. Grease and line your selected baking pan – a square cake tin or 2 bar tins. Personally, I only own 1 bar tin, so I either bake it in 2 batches, or half the recipe. Go nuts.
  3. Add sifted self-raising flour and stir to combine. You made need some muscles for this.
  4. Fill baking tin and bake for 2 hours (checking after 90-mins) if using the square tin or, 1 hour (checking after 45-mins) if using bar tins. I use the skewer test to check my cake – a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Now, you don’t have to stop at 3 ingredients if you don’t want to – there are loads of ways to customise this cake to add your personal spin or a bit of holiday flair. It can even be adapted to become gluten free!

OPTIONS

  • I like glace cherries, so I add some of these.
  • You can add some cinnamon, other spices, or nuts.
  • For a super decadent option, use Bailey’s or Tia Maria as your soaking liquid
  • For a gluten free version, subsititue 1 cup almond meal (or halzenut meal), and 1 cup + a bit extra gluten free plain flour, and gluten free baking powder (according to manufacturers directions i.e. mine says 2 tsp per cup, so I’d add 4 tsps for the volume of dry ingredients).
  • If you have dairy related issues, try using a fruit juice – I like Golden Circles’ Sunshine punch.

Rest assured that even if you decide not to pimp out your cake, you will have an incredibly moist, and super tasty traditional cake. Enjoy!