A Savory and Sweet Easter Tradition
With deviled eggs as the opening act, pineapple ham is the main event at Easter dinner. Juicy, sweet and festive, pineapple and ham join forces to make an iconic holiday dish. Have you ever stopped to wonder – why ham? Just like turkey on Thanksgiving, ham, and Easter tend to go together. As it turns out, there’s a bit of history behind this tradition.
How the Easter Ham Began
Historically, pigs were slaughtered in the fall, when chilly temperatures kept meat fresh during the several days it took to prepare the hog. (It’s also believed that pigs would graze on acorns and insect-free grass in these later months, making the ham ultimately taste better.) The ham would then be cured over winter and ready to eat by the time spring arrived.
Pineapple and Ham: An Unlikely Marriage
With colorful eggs, marshmallow chicks, and molds of gelatin – not all Easter food make culinary sense. However, the unlikely duo of pineapple and ham transcends strange food for the sake of tradition and instead creates an iconic and delicious dish. Juices from the roasted pineapple neutralize the cured ham’s saltiness, making a dish that delights the tastebuds. This begs the question, who was the first to make it?
While the discovery of pineapple dates back to Christopher Colombus, it took a couple of hundred years for the prickly fruit to truly arrive on the scene. At first, because they are limited to a tropical climate, pineapples were a rarity only obtained by the upper class. However, the Royal Fruit was “dethroned” in the 1800s when canning came onto the scene. Canned produce allowed once-scarce tropical luxuries to enter middle-class households.
To promote pineapples on the average grocery list, companies took out ads in women’s magazines and printed recipe booklets. A 1925 recipe booklet featured the headline “99 Tempting Pineapple Treats.” In its page’s Americans discovered a recipe for baked ham with pineapple- the earliest published recipe of our favorite Easter dish.
An Easy Pineapple Ham Recipe
Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make recipe that will impress your dinner guests? Look no further than this mouth-watering ham with pineapple recipe! With just a few simple ingredients including canned pineapple, brown sugar, and a fully cooked ham, this recipe is perfect for any occasion. The pineapple adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the savory ham, making it a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for seconds. Plus, the recipe is super easy to follow, so even novice cooks can create a show-stopping dish in no time.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 (12 pound) bone-in ham
- ½ cup whole cloves
- 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple rings in heavy syrup
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 (4 ounce) jar chopped maraschino cherries
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
- Place ham in a roasting pan. Use a sharp knife to score ham rind with a diamond pattern. Press a clove into the center of each diamond.
- Drain juice from pineapple rings into a medium bowl; stir in lemon-lime soda and brown sugar. Coat ham with juice mixture and arrange pineapple rings on ham. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and secure with a toothpick.
- Bake uncovered, basting frequently with pan juices, in the preheated oven until the internal temperature of the ham is 160 degrees F (72 degrees C), 4 to 5 hours. Be sure the meat thermometer does not touch the bone.
- Remove toothpicks before serving.