Aunt Naomi's Easter Ham


Martha's friend Jane Heller makes her distinctive Easter dinner of Smithfield ham baked with pineapple rings and cherries, sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, and her famous cherry Jell-O mold. Her special ham recipe comes from her Aunt Naomi.


  • 1 Smithfield Easy Karv Ham (7 to 9-pound), rind removed

  • Whole cloves

  • 1 pound dark-brown sugar

  • 1 twelve-ounce can Coca-Cola

  • 1 fourteen-ounce can pineapple rings, drained and juice reserved

  • 1 cup sweet Concord grape wine, like Manischevitz

  • 10 to 12 maraschino cherries

  • Fresh bay leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a sharp knife, score surface of ham crosswise and lengthwise, forming a crosshatch pattern about 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart. Place a clove in the center of each square.

  2. Place ham, fat side up, in a double-layer disposable aluminum roasting pan. Pat brown sugar onto the surface of the ham (expect some sugar to fall into the roasting pan). Transfer to oven, and bake until brown sugar just begins to melt, about 30 minutes.

  3. Remove ham from oven. Pour Coca-Cola over ham, letting it mix with the melted sugar in the bottom of the pan. Baste ham with sugar mixture. Return ham to oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup reserved pineapple juice and the wine in a small bowl. Baste ham with pineapple mixture. Bake ham for a total of 16 minutes per pound, basting every 20 minutes with the juices in the bottom of the pan. During the last 20 minutes of baking time, decorate ham with pineapple rings. Use two to three toothpicks to hold each ring in place. Center a cherry in the center of each ring, and adhere with a toothpick.

  4. Transfer ham to a platter, removing all toothpicks. Garnish ham with fresh bay leaves. Serve.

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