Sweet and Spicy Ham Sauce

Growing up ham was always a staple in our home. My grandmother would score the top in a diamond pattern and where each slice met she would insert a whole clove. She then basted the ham with a sweet, brown sugar glaze. Sometimes the ham would be decorated with slices of pineapple and a maraschino cherries. My husband loves spiral cut hams with the sweet glaze baked in. Those hams served a dozen family members with enough left over to make ham salad the next day.

When cooking for two, I take a more efficient approach. I purchase a Boars Head boneless ham, about 1.5 pounds. I score the top and then cover it in the glaze recipe shared below. It is equally delicious with just enough ham leftover to make ham salad for lunch the next day.


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch


  • In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter.
  • Stir in the brown sugar, apple juice and the spices.
  • Add the cornstarch and heat in the microsoft for 30 seconds. Stir and heat again for 30 seconds. The cornstarch will cause the mixture to thicken to the perfect consistency for basting.
  • After coating the ham, reserve the remaining sauce for tipping.