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Originally published Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 3:00 PM

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An easy to make glaze can dress up the Easter ham

Here are some glaze recipes and tips on glazing the Easter ham.

St. Petersburg Times

Ham is the anchor of many Easter brunches and dinners. Brush the cured meat with a fruity glaze and you've added your spin to a fully cooked ham.

These days, most people buy ham cooked, sometimes even spiral-sliced, and all it needs is heating in a 325-degree oven until an instant-read thermometer reads 140 degrees in the center of the meat.

Wrap the ham in foil first to keep it from drying out, then peel it back with 30 minutes to go and paint it with your homemade glaze. The ham should cook uncovered at this point to allow the sugar in the fruit to caramelize and create a shiny lacquer.

First, make sure the ham you buy doesn't already have a glaze on it. Thin a jar of apricot (or peach, strawberry or blackberry) preserves with a few tablespoons of bourbon, rum or even corresponding fruit nectar and you've got a glaze.

The following combinations will get you started and make enough glaze for a ham up to 10 pounds. But don't stop here. Let your imagination run wild and think about the flavors that you like on a ham sandwich: cranberry, honey, horseradish, mustard, balsamic, caramelized anything. The winning combination of sweet and salty is realized in fruit and ham.

To make glazes, whisk the ingredients together and brush mixture on the ham in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Garnish with zest or slices of fruit that's in the glaze.

1. Apple-Honey Glaze: 1/2 cup honey and 2 tablespoons thawed apple-juice concentrate.

2. Strawberry Glaze: 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground cloves.

3. Orange-Bourbon Glaze: 1/2 cup orange marmalade and 2 tablespoons bourbon.

4. Curried Mango Glaze: 1/2 cup mango chutney, 2 tablespoons thawed orange-juice concentrate and 1 teaspoon curry powder.

5. Peach-Mustard Glaze: 1 (10-ounce jar) peach preserves, 1 ½ tablespoons Creole mustard, spicy mustard or Dijon, 2 tablespoons peach liqueur (Schnapps), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, dash cinnamon.

6. Pineapple-Rum Glaze: 1/2 cup pineapple jam and 2 tablespoons dark rum.

Sources: "Ham: An Obsession With the Hindquarter" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010), About.com,recipezaar.com

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