Monthly Archives: December 2016

Honey Glazed Ham


Amazingly moist gammon with a deliciously sweet and crisp crust. You will all be fighting for the end piece! This is one of my favourite things in the world to eat.

As with a lot of families, we always have ham around Christmas – traditionally on New Year’s Day. My Grandad (aka Granda) used to come and stay with us for Christmas and New Year and he would bring a huge ham with him. My Mum always used to joke that he wasn’t allowed to come and stay with us if he forgot the ham. I remember looking forward to her New Year’s ham all year. As soon as my Mum had finished cooking the ham I would loiter in the kitchen waiting for the chance to sneak an off cut. My Mum always serves this with creamed mashed potatoes, vegetables and a parsley white sauce. I don’t like the parsley sauce but the rest of the family rave about it! I do keep the rest pretty much the same though as it is such a delicious combination.

This is one of my favourite recipes that Mum has passed down to me. As our lives have moved on, my sister and I have both moved out and we now have husbands so have other families to see over the festive period; my Mum understandably doesn’t make this every year. This is another reason why I am so pleased she taught me how to make it, so I can enjoy it without having to nag her to make it for me!

It used to be a much bigger ham in those days so Mum would boil it first before putting it in the oven and then putting the glaze on it. I cook much smaller versions as I tend to only cook it for me and Mr Curly. Although it is smaller, we still like a big enough ham so there is plenty for dinner and leftovers; whether that is for cold ham and chips or a very tasty sandwich. 

I have to watch Mr Curly when I make this because he is always trying to catch a nibble like I used to do with my Mum. As soon as we’ve finished eating dinner, he’ll always ask what is happening with the rest of it and when can he eat more. I’ve learnt not to slice the ham before putting it in the fridge because then it i far too tempting for him to go in and sneak a piece. 

I really would recommend using a disposable foil tray to cook this in. Even though I used to line my roasting tins with foil, the honey and sugar mix always seemed to manage to seep under the foil and burn itself and the foil to the roasting tin. So after far too many times scrubbing my roasting tins to within an inch of their lives, I now use the disposable foil trays. 

Something I do that I’m not sure my Mum would approve of is when I’ve sliced the ham, I add the slices back into the tray the ham was cooked in and coat them in the sugary juices. The ham then becomes fully coated in the delicious glaze which is too good to just throw away! 

A ham of this size will easily feed 4 people with leftovers. 

Smoked boneless ham joint (1.5kg)
50g demerara sugar
70g clear honey

  1. Line a roasting tin with plenty of tin foil or use a disposable foil tray. Place the joint on the tin and cover with more foil. Cook the joint for 30 minutes less than the time specified on the cooking instructions
  2. When the joint has 30 minutes left of cooking time, remove it from the oven and dispose of the foil
  3. Cut off the rind and the majority of the fat leaving a couple of millimeters. Score the fat with a knife diagonally one way and then the other


  1. Mix the sugar and honey together in a bowl and then pour over the fat of the gammon. Put the gammon back into the oven uncovered for the remaining 30 minutes of cooking


  1. Take out of the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes loosely covered in foil before carving
  2. After carving, serve as it is or dip in the sugary juices to coat and then serve 



Frangipane Mince Pie Slices


Mince Pies but without all the fiddly pastry! These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices have all the flavours you’d associate with mince pies but in a tray bake instead of an individual little pie.

Mince Pies may not be something you are aware of if you’re not from the UK. They are little sweet pies filled with mincemeat which is a sweet filling consisting of dried fruits, spices and spirits. Although I love a mince pie, mincemeat does divide people and it’s not everyone’s thing!

For me it isn’t Christmas until the mince pies have been made. However the traditional way of making them is a little fiddly as you have to cut out circles of pastry before filling with mincemeat and then topping with more pastry. At a time of year when there is always so much going on, a quicker version is always welcome!

I thought about making a tray bake as a way to speed the mince pie process up. I have come up with this recipe which includes the added extra of frangipane and after a couple of tester bakes sampled by my friends at work, I have come up with the below recipe. I like a good thick layer of mincemeat but feel free to use a bit less if you would like. You could also scatter the top with flaked almonds before putting it into the oven.

These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices freeze really well so make a batch and freeze some ready to whip out the night before you have guests coming. You will then have a lovely home baked treat for your guests without any last minute stress!

Enjoy and remember to thank me when you’re no longer cutting out circles of pastry!

For the shortcrust pastry
175g plain flour
75g butter 
2 – 3 tbsp cold water 

For the frangipane
150g butter, softened

150g caster sugar
60g plain flour
90g ground almonds
2 ½ large eggs, beaten
¼ tsp almond extract
½ an orange zest, grated

600g mincemeat 

  1.  Start by making the pastry. Measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
  2. Add enough water to form a soft dough. Add it gradually because you might not need to add all three tablespoons
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface and line the bottom of the tin with it


  1. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the frangipane ingredients and mix until combined


  1. Spread the mincemeat evenly across the pastry making sure you get right to the edges


  1. Dot spoonfuls of the frangipane on top of the mincemeat and spread evenly


  1. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before turning out onto to wire rack to cool completely. Then cut into squares and enjoy!