This is not my grandmother’s version. It’s even statelier, queenlier, than the single slices she’d trot out to the dining room table. And according to John Becker in The Joy of Cooking, it’s a culmination of decades of ham and pineapple evolution. He calls this one the “all-out, bejeweled presentation,” and for good reason. Drape your pineapple rings carefully—bonus points if you do the orange peel “stars”—and throw a feast like it’s 1975.
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1975
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Place ham on a rack, uncovered, in a shallow pan. For a whole 10- to 15-pound ham, allow 18 to 20 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (If you're using a "fully cooked" ham, it will be ready when the internal temperature reaches 140.)
- Remove ham from the oven about 1/2 hour before it’s done. While preparing it for glazing, increase oven heat to 425°F. Remove rind, all but a collar around the shank bone. Cut diagonal gashes across the fat top side of the ham, in diamond shapes, and cover this surface with the brown sugar, dry mustard, and vinegar-moistened bread crumbs.
- Decorate as shown with alternating 1/2 pineapple rings studded with cranberries or Maraschino cherries and stars cut from preserved orange peels. (Use toothpicks to help secure any pieces that won’t stay on their own.)
- Reduce oven heat again to 325°F and return ham to oven about 30 minutes. Place on platter and garnish with more pineapple slices.
Kenzi Wilbur is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in GQ, Architectural Digest, and Food52, among others. She also hosted and produced a food podcast called Burnt Toast, which perhaps you should go listen to right now. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.