Constant basting is the trick to a glistening baked ham. Do slice the meat thinly. This fruit-studded centerpiece of a main course is among the most popular recipes from the original Silver Palate Cookbook. Once you make it, you’ll see why.
1 (16 to 20-lb) ready-to-eat, bone-in ham
Whole cloves, to cover surface of the ham
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup dark-brown sugar
3 cups apple juice
1/2 lb dried apricots
1 cup Madeira wine
1/2 lb 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 11/2 hours, basting frequently.
5. Meanwhile, 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.