Easter may not offer the widespread family get-togethers of Thanksgiving or the merry gift-giving of Christmas, but our family eats every bit as festively on this meaningful and fun spring day. While ham is the traditional centerpiece of many holiday tables, I take considerable pride in preparing the meat both to be succulent and with cost in mind. Such savings allow an increased budget to add plentiful complimentary sides, including deviled eggs, asparagus, glazed carrots, scalloped potatoes, and more.
Here is a simple recipe for the glazed ham that our family greatly enjoys and also a look at a tasty dessert that fits perfectly on the same Easter dinner table.
In our household, glazed ham on Easter is as expected as a juicy turkey sitting on our same dining room table on Thanksgiving. Not only do the kids relish the sweet taste of the ham, but the meat acts as a perfect centerpiece for a meal filled with no shortage of delectable side-dishes. In fact, the incredible smell the ham adds to the house while cooking may be one of the few sensations powerful enough to convince my children to put down their Easter candy.
Many commercially-prepared products, such as Honeybaked Ham, sell fully cooked versions of a similar delicacy that are ready for serving. Shoppers can further pick up spiral sliced hams at the grocery store, which are smoked and come with a prepared glaze. These options require only a couple of hours of re-heating to be ready to eat. However, if more motivated and looking to cook a ham yourself (saving money in the process), I have the recipe for you.
10 pound bone-in shank ham
1/2 cup of honey
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Teaspoon of ground mustard
Teaspoon of onion powder
Can of pineapple slices (optional)
1.) Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Put ham in a roasting pan that is filled with a couple inches of water. Wrap the meat tightly with aluminum foil and cook for around eight hours.
2.) Remove ham from oven. The meat should be tender so that the bone can be easily removed. Place ham on carving board and remove drippings from roasting pan.
3.) Combine a cup of drippings into a bowl with honey, brown sugar, ground mustard, and onion powder. Mix thoroughly to make the glaze.
4.) Place ham back into roasting pan and pour entirety of glaze onto the ham. Cover again with foil and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes. Some like to add pineapple to the ham at this point and the sticky glaze nicely helps the slices stay in place for added flavor.
Cooking the ham at a reduced temperature, this recipe may take the better part of a day to prepare, but my kids annually express that it is worth the effort and the wait. After all, the natural salty taste of ham combines perfectly with the sweetness of the seasonings. The meat compliments many of our favorite sides, including mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, and Easter bread.
As mentioned earlier, another benefit of this meal is the great savings compared to the commercial products. Bone-in shank ham is widely available in supermarkets around Easter and many stores sell it considerably less than a whole fresh ham or even the butt portion of the meat. The shank is also a little easier to carve, which always helps after a long day of cooking.
Coconut Easter Cake
This has become a favorite holiday dessert for our family. Its inspiration comes from my wife, who savored a coconut Easter cake every year on the holiday as a child. Offering great appeal for amateurs in the kitchen like me, one needs to do little more than prepare a simple box cake in order to make this sweet delight.
Despite potential simplicity, the addition of coconut shavings packs a completely different flavor than ordinary yellow cake. Furthermore, the use of these yummy flakes presents a baker with a world of intriguing possibilities. Not only does the topping provide added taste, but those small flakes enable creative cooks to design post-dinner masterpieces in honor of the Easter bunny, religious themes, springtime, and more. With visions of happy children in mind, here is all you need to do.
18.25 yellow box cake mix
16 ounce tub of white icing
7 ounce bag of sweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon coconut extract
Food coloring (optional)
1.) Prepare box cake according to individual product directions. To provide a complimentary taste, add a teaspoon of coconut extract to the resulting batter prior to pouring into pans for cooking.
2.) Bake cake in two 8-inch round pans. Heat batter according to instructions and remove from oven.
3.) Allow cooked cake to cool sufficiently prior to adding icing or combining into a single item. If feeling creative, any final look is possible. The batter can be cooked into a single deeper cake and then carved into a shape, such as an Easter bunny.
4.) After preparing desired shape, use sufficient icing to cover its entirety. Next generously sprinkle coconut flakes throughout the top of the cake. Food coloring can be used to turn flakes into different colors. Prior to adding onto cake, simply place shavings, a small amount of water, and a few drops of food coloring into a re-sealable bag. Shake and allow dyed coconut to dry before putting on cake.
Adding food coloring is always fun, but the dessert’s true flavor comes from combining a well cooked yellow cake with the sweetened coconut flakes. Easter candy can also become part of the cake, especially if producing a more creative final product. Multi-colored jelly beans are a favorite of our family, as they provide a colorful spring-like look for the coconut shavings atop the cake.