By Suzanne De Cornelia
This dazzling fruit-studded baked-ham is one of the most popular recipes ever from the classic Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso. Delicious and relatively easy to prepare, it’s a postcard-perfect centerpiece course that will be remembered for years. It serves 20, and any leftovers can be used to make Croque-Monsieur, Quiche Lorraine, or baked beans and ham.
Baked Ham With Glazed Apricots & Prunes:
Baste this frequently for a glistening baked ham, and slice the meat thinly for serving.
-1 ready-to-eat, bone-in ham (12 to 16 pounds)
-Whole cloves, to cover surface of the ham
-1/4 cup Dijon mustard
-1 cup dark-brown sugar
-3 cups apple juice
-1/2 pound dried apricots
-1 cup Madeira wine
-1/2 pound pitted prunes
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Peel the skin from the ham and trim the fat, leaving about a 1/4-inch layer to protect the meat. With a sharp knife, score the fat in a diamond pattern.
3. Set the ham in a shallow roasting pan, insert a whole clove in the crossed point of each diamond and pat mustard evenly over the top and sides of the ham. Sprinkle the top with the brown sugar and pour apple juice into the bottom of the pan.
4. Bake the ham for 1 1/2 hours, basting frequently.
5. Combine the apricots and Madeira wine in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat.
6. Thirty minutes prior to the end of baking, add apricots, cooking liquid and prunes to the roasting pan; continue to bake and baste.
7. Transfer the ham to a large platter. Decorate the top of the ham with apricots and prunes, attaching them with toothpicks. Skim the fat from the pan juices and discard. Pour the pan juices into a sauceboat. Serve the ham with the pan juices and your favorite mustards and chutneys.
Silver Palate’s Best Potato Gratin:
This dish can be assembled ahead of time.
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 cup milk
-7 cloves of garlic, crushed
-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
-4 sprigs fresh thyme
-Salt and white pepper, to taste
-6 Idaho potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled
-2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Bring the cream, milk, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper to a low simmer; cook for 30 minutes. Strain into a bowl, discarding the herbs and garlic. Reserve.
3. While the mixture simmers, slice the potatoes 1/8-inch thick, rinse under cold water, drain and pat dry.
4. Grease a 9x13x2-inch gratin dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Arrange a layer of potatoes in rows, overlapping slightly; season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup of cream mixture over the potatoes. Repeat the process twice, then cover with remaining cream mixture. Dot with remaining butter; cover with foil.
5. Bake for 45 minutes; remove foil. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, about 45 minutes more.
From the Signature Series of the Gold Medal winning Tamayo Family Vineyards, Serve the rich and lively Celebration Rose 2006, or the luscious and fruity Bailey 2008 Viognier.
For more information click on: http://www.tamayofamilyvineyards.com/tamayo/index.jsp
2008-2012-Suzanne de Cornelia. All worldwide rights apply. This article may be reprinted on websites as long as the entire article, including website link and resource box below are included and unchanged. Suzanne is a freelance writer and Web 2.0 expert. Her novel “French Heart” will be released in Summer 2009. “Friend’ he on Facebook or on her site: http://web.mac.com/myfrenchheart
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