Ham Stuffed with Apricots

This recipe probably comes from Oxfordshire where the famous Moor Park strain of apricots was developed. It is a very good cold luncheon dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 lb (2 to 3 kg) uncooked sweet-cured ham or gammon
  • 1 lb (½ kg) plain flour
  • ½ lb (240 g) fresh apricots, not too ripe
  • 1 cup (120 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons Golden Syrup or treacle
  • demerara sugar
  • 10 to 20 cloves
  • cup (90 g) blanched almonds, fried to a pale golden colour

Method

Cut the bone out of the ham. Mix the flour with enough water to make a stiff dough — this is the crust in which the ham will be baked.

Cut the apricots away from their stones and put them into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for 4 minutes to release the juice a little. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs. Work the mixture together and press it into the hole in the ham from where the bone was removed. Tie round the ham with string to keep it firm. Spread the ham with the syrup or treacle, sprinkle over a little sugar and stick with the cloves.

Roll out the crust and lay the ham on it. Pull the sides of the crust over the ham and mould together so that the ham is sealed in.

Put the ham on a baking tray and bake at 400°F (200°C, Gas Mark 6) for 1½ hours. Remove the ham from the oven and when it is cool enough to handle remove and discard the crust. Stick the almonds on top of the ham between the cloves. The apricot stones may be cracked and their kernels used (although not, of course, fried) instead of almonds if preferred.

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