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Aunt Tia's festive holiday ham


Guava bell pepper and bourbon jam:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) guava paste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) diced pink guavas, canned (optional)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced with seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground nutmeg
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) sambal oelek (chili paste)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whiskey


  • 6.8 kilogram smoked ham
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) whole cloves
  • 2 cups (500 mL) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) ground cloves
  • 4 cups (1 L) Coca Cola
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) allspice
  • 1 recipe Guava Bell Pepper & Bourbon Jam
  • 1 cup (250 mL) persimmon slices for garnishing
  • 1 cup (250 mL) maraschino cherries


Guava bell pepper and bourbon jam: 

  1. In a 2-quart (2 L) pot, combine paste and water over medium heat. Break up paste into pieces with a wooden spoon and stir to melt into a sauce that coats the back of the spoon (adjust with a little more water, if needed).
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except whiskey). Reduce heat and simmer, for 15 minutes, add whiskey and simmer for one minute, remove from heat.
  3. Let cool and store in sterilized jars for up to three weeks.


  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F (165˚C). Line a 15- x 12-inch (38 x 30 cm) deep roasting pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Rinse ham in cold water. Transfer to a cutting board and using a sharp paring knife, score the top into diamonds. Stud the center of each diamond with a clove.
  3. Coat the ham with brown sugar by patting firmly, transfer to the pan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients (except garnishing ingredients) pour over ham. Cover with foil and bake, basting occasionally, for 60 minutes.
  5. Remove foil, discard half of the liquid, spread jam over the ham, and return to the oven and bake uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  6. Garnish with persimmon slices, cherries, transfer ham to a platter and serve.


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