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How to Cook a Ham With Brown Sugar, Cherries and Pineapple

by Irena Eaves, studioD

Elegant and easy to prepare, baked ham is sure to please when you serve it for special occasions or even for dinner. Basting the ham with a sweet glaze ensures a flavorful and fragrant meal that will impress. Stud the ham with cherries and pieces of pineapple to create a dish that's as beautiful as it is delicious. Canned pineapple chunks are ideal for this preparation, and you can mix the excess pineapple juice with brown sugar to make a flavorful glaze.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the ham in a roasting pan with a rack and transfer it to the oven. If the ham appears to be browning too rapidly, cover it with aluminum foil. Bake the ham until the internal temperature reaches 140 F, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for a 5-pound ham. For best results, use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature while it bakes. If you wish, you can baste the ham with the juices that drip to the bottom of the pan periodically throughout the cooking time.

Drain the juice from the pineapple chunks and set aside.

Prepare the glaze while the ham bakes. Combine 3 parts packed light brown sugar with 1 part Dijon mustard and 2 parts of the reserved pineapple juice. For example, for a 5-pound ham, you need about 3/4-cup light brown sugar, 1/2-cup pineapple juice and 1/4-cup Dijon mustard.

Skewer one cherry and one piece of pineapple per toothpick. Use about 20 skewers for a 5-pound ham.

Remove the ham from the oven during the last 30 to 45 minutes of baking and brush with the glaze. Stud the surface of the ham with the cherry-pineapple skewers and return it to the oven.

Brush the ham with the glaze and juices that drip to the bottom of the pan every 10 minutes or so, until it reaches 140 F. Allow the ham to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Items you will need
  •  Ham
  •  Roasting pan
  •  Meat thermometer
  •  Aluminum foil (optional)
  •  Canned pineapple chunks
  •  Light brown sugar
  •  Dijon mustard
  •  Maraschino cherries
  •  Toothpicks


  • If you wish, serve any leftover glaze alongside the ham at the table.


  • Always heat pre-cooked hams to 140 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure safety.

About the Author

Irena Eaves began writing professionally in 2005. She has been published on several websites including RedPlum, CollegeDegreeReport.com and AutoInsuranceTips.com. Eaves holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Boston University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images