Vintage Victuals: Christmas In July! Noel Glazed Ham

Noel Glazed Ham, 1967

“Be different! This year make the pacesetter of your company get-together an easy-carve boneless ham roll, glazed and trimmed in the grand French manner.”

Not only does this recipe (from a 1967 Family Circle publication) take 2 days to make, but in the end, you wind up with a baked ham frosted with gelled mayonnaise.

No, YOU try it. I made the ketchup pie, remember?

Noel Glazed Ham
Bake meat first to bring out its juicy-best flavor, then glaze, French style. Only last-minute job is to arrange platter.
Makes 12 servings, plus enough for a second-day treat.

7 to 8 pounds boned rolled ready-to-eat ham
½ red skin apple
4 green-onion tops
8 to 10 whole sprigs of watercress
2 cups cream for whipping
1 tablespoon dried tarragon leaves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
7 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water
2 cups mayonnaise or salad dressing
½ cup lemon juice
4 cups apple cider

1. Two days before your party, place ham on a rack in a large shallow baking pan. (Do not add water or cover pan.)
2. Bake in slow oven (325°) 1 hour and 15 minutes. Lift onto a large platter; cool, wrap, and chill overnight.
3. The next day, pare skin from apple in wide strips; split green-onion tops. Cut tiny flower shapes from each with a truffle cutter; place cutouts and watercress between sheets of damp paper toweling to keep moist.
4. Heat cream with tarragon and ginger just to scalding in a small saucepan; cool to lukewarm; strain through cheesecloth into a small bowl.
5. Soften 4 envelopes of the gelatin in water in a medium-size saucepan; heat slowly, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves; remove from heat. Beat in mayonnaise or salad dressing and lemon juice; stir in cream mixture. Let stand at room temperature.
6. Soften remaining 3 envelopes gelatin in 1 cup of the cider in a small saucepan; heat slowly, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves; stir in remaining 3 cups cider. Let stand at room temperature for Step 9.
7. Set ham on a wire rack in a large shallow pan. Pour about ½ of the mayonnaise mixture into a small bowl; place in a pan of ice and water to speed setting. Chill, stirring several times, just until as thick as an unbeaten egg white; spoon over ham to coat evenly. Chill ham about 10 minutes, or until coating is set.
8. Repeat Step 7 with remaining mayonnaise mixture, half at a time, to make a thick coating on ham. When top layer is just sticky-firm, press apple and onion cutouts on top of ham and watercress along side to make a festive pattern. Lift ham onto a clean platter, Chill until coating is firm. Wash pan and rack.
9. Pour about half of the cider mixture into a small bowl; place in a pan of ice and water to speed setting; chill until as thick as unbeaten egg white.
10. Return ham to rack in pan; spoon thickened cider mixture over top to coat evenly; chill until firm. Repeat with remaining cider mixture. Spoon any that runs off ham into a shallow pan and chill until firm for garnish. Chill ham until party time.
11. When ready to serve, place ham on a large carving board. Frame with lemon leaves, if you wish. Cut extra gelatin into tiny cubes and pile around ham. Carve ham into slices about ¼ inch thick, as needed.

As a warm-weather treat, this does have the advantage of being served cold. And since it calls for ready-to-eat ham, I think you could skip the part where you bake it for 75 minutes, then chill it again. Maybe that step is required to dry out the ham enough so that the mayonnaise sticks better. Oh yeah, that’s an appetizing thought.

Um, bon appétit?

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