Baked Ham with Fruit Cocktail Gravy
A Hand-Me-Down Recipe
Wait Till You See The
Ham Leftover Recipes....

This baked ham recipe with fruit cocktail gravy is a hand-me-down recipe from my mother-in-law. I have never cooked ham in my life. We always have ham in one of our relatives' house for special occasions and/or holidays.

I do always get the leftover. So, I developed some delicious ham leftover recipes without cooking any spiral ham. Funny, huh?

But one year, nobody cooked the ham either on Thanksgiving or Christmas. My husband talked about how much he craved to have some ham. So, I decided to give it a try.

Baked Ham Dinner with Fruit Cocktail Gravy, Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Corns

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Inactive Cook Time: 2.5 - 3.5 Hours
Active Cook Time:
10 Minutes Serving: 6-8

My hubby always raves about how good his mom cooks the ham and gravy. So, when I first cooked it, I was nervous like crazy. You know that feeling like having butterflies in your stomach and worry that you may not meet the expectations.

The funny thing was that when my mother-in-law told me about her recipe, she somehow misspoke a very important ingredient. She always used fruit cocktail syrup from the can to make her delicious gravy. Instead, she told me using pineapple juice.

It was a perfect opportunity to allow me trying out the pineapple juice base gravy. 'Cos throughout all these years, everybody follows my mother's-in-law recipe to cross the t and dot the i.

Cooking so many times since I started making my own baked ham, I started to make my twists.  It turned tastes better and better.  Here is my updated version.  You may see the pictures look very different from each other.  Some of them were taken after making some changes of my original recipe.

Trim fat from the ham and transfer to roasting panTrim fat from the ham and transfer to roasting pan
Cutting the surface of the ham in the diamond pattern.  Then, pin a whole clove in each diamond.Cutting the surface of the ham in the diamond pattern. Then, pin a whole clove in each diamond.
Pour pineapple juice or fruit cocktail juice on top of the hamPour pineapple juice or fruit cocktail juice on top of the ham
This one is the fruit cocktail juice. When it is cooked, the gravy color is dark brown.
After the first 2 hours, use a fork to remove the whole cloves one by one.  Use a spoon to push the clove out of the fork and discard.After the first 2 hours, use a fork to remove the whole cloves one by one. Use a spoon to push the clove out of the fork and discard.
Baked ham with pineapple juice gravyBaked ham with pineapple juice gravy
Transfer ham to a plate for resting while you are waiting, prepare the gravy.Transfer ham to a plate for resting while you are waiting, prepare the gravy.

Pineapple or Fruit Cocktail Juice for Gravy?

So, what's the verdict?  I must agree with my husband and his family that the fruit cocktail juice is better than the pineapple juice when it comes to gravy. There is some depth of the taste of the gravy.  The fruit cocktail base gravy has a darker brown color, too.

However, different people have different preference. So, it will be fine to use either. That is....use either 100% pineapple juice or purely fruit cocktail syrup.

And how are you going to use up the pineapple and the fruit cocktail? Of course, you can eat them. But you can make delicious meals and/or side dish out of them. How?

The first couple recipes popped up from my mind is the pineapple kielbasa and the fruit cocktail shrimp salad.  While the ham is cooking, you have plenty of time to prepare either one of these easy side dishes.

Also, I love to hear from you which kind of juice you prefer for making your ham gravy.  Please scroll to the bottom of this page and write it on the Facebook comment box.

If you have any great ham leftover recipes, please share with us. You can either scroll down to the bottom to fill out the Facebook comment form or Contact Me.  I am sure visitors of this web site would greatly appreciate your help and sharing. Thank you for stopping by and enjoy!


7.5-10 pounds Ham Shank Portion
3 cup Pineapple Juice or Fruit Cocktail Juice (from 3 cans of 28-oz fruit cocktail; drain the fruit very well to make a salad later....stay tuned)
12-14 Whole Cloves
1/2 cup tightly packed Light Brown Sugar + more for adjusting the seasoning of the gravy later
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
1 2-inch deep Disposable roasting pan (for easy clean-up)

  1. Preheat oven at 325F
  2. Put the disposable roasting pan on a baking sheet which will provide good support
  3. Trim the fat from the ham and transfer to roasting pan and cut side down (I learned that you do need some fat, but not too much.  Otherwise, your gravy will be super salty.)
  4. Cut through the surface of the ham in criss-cross pattern.  Just cut about 1/2' deep to make pretty diamond shapes on top of the ham.
  5. In each diamond, push in a whole clove.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine juice and brown sugar until sugar is dissolved
  7. Pour juice mixture on top of the ham
    It may look like a lot of liquid. But the ham will absorb a lot in exchange of the grease to make the gravy later
  8. Cook 18-25 minutes for every pound
  9. In the middle of the process, take the ham out and use a spoon or syringe to braise the ham. 
  10. Depending on the size of the ham, use a fork to take out the cloves one by one.  The meat is very hot to handle.  So, slide a fork between the clove and the ham, the clove will be captured in between the tines of the fork.  Use a spoon to push the clove out of the fork and discard.  Repeat this step until all whole cloves are removed.  Continue the 2nd half of the cook time.
  11. Use the meat thermometer to test until the internal temperature reaches 160F (test the temperature in the thickest park of the meat, but not close by the bone)
  12. Let it rest for 8-10 minutes before carving

Ham Over 10 Pounds

If the baked ham is 11 pounds or more, add these steps.  This will guarantee a beautiful ham and delicious family dinner:

  1. Cover the ham with aluminum foil in the first and last hour of cook time.  It is because the bigger the size, the longer it cooks.  Exposing under the heat for too long, the surface will burn.
  2. Braise it one more time in the middle of the 2nd half of the cook time.

Fruit Cocktail Gravy Recipe

  1. While the meat is resting, transfer the baked ham to the cutting board and leave the juice in the roasting pan
  2. Add butter and flour into a medium sauce pan and whisk to combine
  3. Cook the roux at medium to medium high heat for a minute or so to get rid of the flour taste
  4. Pour the juice and grease from the roasting pan into the saucepan
  5. Whisk until the sauce is thickened
  6. And adjust the seasoning with sugar, salt and pepper
  7. Transfer gravy to the serving bowl
  8. Carve ham and serve along with gravy

Essentials Used In This Recipe

Tips How to Carve Baked Ham

The package will have a direction how to carve ham.  Just in case you didn't realize it and throw it away.  Here are some basic tips:

  1. Always cut side down (This is for your safety.  Cut side down allows the ham stabilize on the surface for you to work with)
  2. Cut around the bones and cut against the grain (this step always applies to all kind of meat, especially beef)

A side note...electric knife is a great way to carve ham or turkey.  But always remember the kitchen safety, especially if you have small children at home.

Best Way to Serve The Ham Moist

This is a lesson I learned. 

Well coordination of cook time and serve time is very important.  If you plan to cook the ham very early on and leave it in a warm oven until meal time, the ham will be very dry.
If you have a big crowd to serve and expect some people may come late, try to schedule serving your ham dinner about 30 minutes later than expected.  This will give you enough buffer and not to worry about serving the dry ham on the table.

Baked Ham Leftover Recipes

Ham Scrambled Eggs with Onion and Pepper

What to do with all the leftover from the baked ham?  What about the bone?

You got to save everything.  There are some delicious and creative dishes you don't want to miss.  Yummmm....

Check out the list on the Ham Leftover Recipes page

Serve This With: 

Creamy mashed potatoes

Easter Bunny Cake

Frozen Sweet Corn

Fruit Cocktail Shrimp Salad

No-Towel Pumpkin Roll

Warm Cinnamon Apples

You May Also Be Interested In:

Ham Leftover Recipes

Holiday Recipes

Pork Recipes

Last updated on Nov 20, 2015

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