Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus


The secret to this supertender ham is keeping it wrapped in foil while it’s cooking and resting, letting it reabsorb any moisture released during the cooking process. “If you can’t pick up the foil-wrapped ham without burning yourself, then it’s not done resting!” says pork pro Kevin Gillespie, chef at Revival in Decatur, Georgia. Slideshow: More Ham Recipes 

Spiced Brown Sugar Ham with Apple Jus
Photo: © Marcus Nilsson
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 30 mins
8 to 10


  • One 1-pound box light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • One 8- to 10-pound bone-in smoked ham, skin removed

  • 3 medium Fuji apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • Kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the pepper, cloves and cinnamon.

  2. Place the ham fat side up on two large pieces of aluminum foil and, using your hands, rub the sugar mixture all over the top and side; it should form a thick layer. Wrap the ham tightly in the foil and transfer to a large roasting pan. Bake for about 3 hours, until glossy on the outside and a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 125°. Transfer the ham to a work surface and let rest in the foil at room temperature until cool enough to handle, about 2 hours.

  3. Unwrap the ham and slice the meat; transfer to a large platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Pour the accumulated juices into a large measuring cup and spoon off any fat. You should have about 3 1/4 cups.

  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the sliced apples with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a blender and puree with the ham juices and vinegar until smooth. Strain the apple jus through a fine-mesh sieve set over a gravy boat and season with salt. Serve the ham, passing the apple jus at the table.

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