Marmalade roast ham

with homemade marmalade and cloves

For the marmalade, cut the oranges in half and squeeze the juice into a saucepan. Scrape out the pulp and seeds from the skins and tie in muslin and add to the pan. Add 900ml of water and bring to the boil. Slice the skins into thin 1 1/2 inch strips and add to the pan, reducing the heat to just over a simmer. Heat for 1 3/4 hours. Skim off any foamy bits from the surface during.

Remove the muslin bag, squeezing as much juice from it as possible first, then discard.

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes then you will need to check if it has reached setting point; reached at 105°C. If you do not have a thermometer handy; test by spooning a small amount on a plate and placing in the fridge, if the surface firms and it does not run after a minute or so it is done. If it runs continue to boil for a few minutes and try again until it firms on the plate.

Set aside to cool.

For the ham, place the gammon joint in a large stockpot and cover with water, adding the bay leaves. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Continue to heat for 1 1/2 hours. Skimming off any foamy bits and topping up with water if needed.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove from the water and pat dry. With a long sharp knife, slice off the skin leaving 5mm of fat remaining on the ham. Score the fat to make a grid of squares. Take the marmalade and gently rub over the surface. In the centre of each squares of the fat grid, push a clove through the fat into the meat.

Place in the oven for 35-45 minutes basting often during the roasting.

Leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving and all the juices left in the roasting tray can be poured into a jug for a sauce, which really is one of the best bits of this dish.


If you don’t want the hassle of going to all the trouble of this dish in one go, after the boiled ham has been covered by the marmalade and cloves, you can place in the fridge to then be roasted up to a couple of days later; letting the ham marinade in the marmalade will also let the flavours sink in. The marmalade can also be substituted for a shop bought version if time may be an issue or even a batch you have made previously.

Go the extra mile...

There are other recipes for marmalade which involve soaking the peels overnight and take a bit more care and attention to make it; for this recipe, the marmalade is a flavour to the dish and with this in mind I have tried to keep it as simple and hassle free as possible. You can still save a bit for your toast tomorrow morning though!

The reason for the pulp and pips being simmered is actually quite important to the process. Pectin which is added with sugar in other jams to let it set is already present in the white parts of the orange, namely the pith, pulp and pips. This time of year is when most people make their marmalade reserves for the year, mainly due to the oranges being in season in hotter climates, where they are grown, making them at their best and available in abundance at a lower cost.

Exmoor, Devon
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