Author: Debbie Arnold - Dining with Debbie

Christmas dinner at my grandparents' house always featured a ham my grandfather had smoked in the backyard smokehouse. To fancy it up. my grandmother would cut criss-cross marks into the deep layer of fat, periodically piercing here and there with a whole clove. And just to make sure that ham was the star of the meal, she'd layer pineapple rings centered wi th maraschino cherries all over the outside and then baste it with a brown sugar or molasses and mustard glaze during it's long, slow cooking.

The sweetness of the pineapple and cherries would combine with the salty smokiness of the ham for a bite of pure joy! By the time the ham was done, the pineapple and cherries would have caramelized practically into candy. 

I've updated her classic Christmas ham preparation to suit our family's tastes andlifestyle. Rather than pineapple rings, I use a pineapple juice reduction combined with Dijon mustard, whole cloves and fresh thyme to glaze a Petit Jean Meats Smoked Spiral Sliced Ham. I think you'll find it's every bit as delightful as my grandmother's.


  • Nonstick vegetable spray
  • 1 46 -ounce can 100% pineapple juice (not from concentrate)
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 - 1 teaspoon whole cloves (to taste)
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 - 3/4 cup Dijon mustard (to taste)
  • Set aside 1 cup pineapple juice.


  1. In a medium, heavy saucepan, whisk together 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar and remaining pineapple juice.
  2. Add ginger, pepper. cloves and thyme sprigs to pineapple juice.
  3. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, reducing liquid by half, stirring frequently. Mixture should become thicker.
  4. Set aside to cool slightly. Whisk in mustard.
  5. While pineapple juice is reducing. preheat oven 10 325 degrees.
  6. Spray a large roasting pan with nonstick spray.
  7. Place ham, cut side down in roasting pan. 
  8. Pour in 1 cup pineapple juice. 
  9. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  10. Bake 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.