Sticky and delicious!
8kg whole leg ham
500ml medium-dry sherry or apera
4 cinnamon sticks
12 cardamom pods
1 piece nutmeg, cracked
8 fresh bay leaves
600g apricot and amaretto jam or apricot jam
2 cups whole blanched almonds, toasted
Rosemary sprigs and bay leaves, to decorate, plus extra, to garnish
Roast trussed cherry tomatoes, to garnish
Fresh apricots, stoned, cut into wedges, to garnish
Preheat oven to 180°C. Using a small sharp knife, cut a zigzag around neck of ham, then use fingers to carefully pry away skin. Score a crisscross pattern into fat of ham, then put on a sheet of non-stick baking paper inside a large roasting pan.
Put sherry or apera, spices and bay leaves in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until reduced to 1⁄2 cup. Strain into a second saucepan, discarding herbs and spices. Add jam, mixing well to combine, and bring to a rapid boil over a high heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened.
Brush a little of the hot jam mixture onto ham, then bake for 30 minutes. Baste ham again with a little more jam mixture, then bake for a further 30 minutes. Baste with remaining jam and bake for a final 30 minutes or until ham is glossy.
Arrange one almond in centre of each crisscrossed square on ham fat. Finely chop remaining almonds and scatter over neck of ham. Transfer ham to a platter. Tie fresh rosemary and bay leaves around neck of ham to decorate. Serve platter garnished with roast tomatoes, apricot wedges and extra herbs.