A frosty glass of crisp cider may be the perfect accompaniment for patio sipping, television watching, dock sitting, or just hanging out in the warm, lemony spring sunshine, but did you know it also happens to be a fantastic and versatile ingredient for cooking?
For Margaret Van Helvoort and Kees Morsink there is no bad way to use this sometimes sweet, sometimes tangy fermented apple juice. The founders of Kings Mill Cider in Hastings County spent years perfecting their cider recipes and have elevated cider making to an art form. Their award-winning ciders come in all styles and flavours – still or carbonated, sweet or dry, but always delicious.
When you think about it, cider sits at the sweet spot of cooking ingredients – fruity, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet – it’s cider’s delicious versatility that earns it five stars from chefs. Sweetness and acidity combine perfectly with a fragrant bouquet and a sometimes sharp aftertaste to transform even ordinary dishes into culinary adventures for the win.
It’s fair to say there is little Margaret and Kees haven’t explored when it comes to cider, and the couple naturally use cider in their kitchen on a regular basis. Here they share their own recipe for a hearty and delicious Cider Glazed Ham, an old-time favourite where the tanginess of cider contrasts perfectly with the sweetness of the maple syrup and brown sugar.
Make this recipe at home using Kings Mill’s Premium Dry Cider; you can order Kings Mill Cider online for delivery straight to your kitchen (or glass). Delivery and shipping is free within Ontario right now.
Cider Glazed Ham
1 – 4 kg Bone-in smoked spiral sliced ham (also works for other styles of hams)
355 ml Kings Mill Premium Dry Cider (still) (or any cider you have on hand)
½ cup Maple syrup
½ cup Brown sugar
3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tsp Cornstarch
½ tsp Cinnamon
½ tsp Chili powder
¼ tsp Dried thyme
¼ tsp Black pepper
2 tbsp Butter
Directions: Remove the ham from refrigerator and let sit at room temp for two hours prior to cooking. Preheat the oven to 160 C or 325 F.
Whisk together hard cider, maple syrup, brown sugar, vinegar and mustard in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in cornstarch, cinnamon, chili powder, thyme and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until glaze is thickened and reduced, approximately 15 minutes. Whisk in butter until melted, then remove from heat. Divide glaze into three separate bowls, ½, ¼ and ¼ for glazing at different times.
Roll out two large pieces of aluminum foil and set the ham on top. Brush ham with glaze until coated thoroughly, then wrap completely in foil. Place in a roasting pan and bake about two hours or until internal temperature reaches 45 ° Celsius or 110 ° Fahrenheit. Remove ham from oven and increase heat to 200 ° Celsius or 400 ° Fahrenheit. Unwrap foil to expose ham and brush with more glaze. Return to oven uncovered for another 20 to 25 minutes, until outside of ham is caramelized. Remove ham from oven and brush with remaining glaze. Loosely cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes before serving.
About Kees Morsink and Margaret Van Helvoort:
If there’s one subject on which Kees and Margaret are experts, it’s cider. Kees himself has been making cider for more than 30 years, and studied the intricacies of the craft at Cornell University. The couple spent nearly a decade perfecting their cider recipes before starting their cidery in the heart of Hastings County. All this hard work appears to be paying off: In the past few years Kings Mill Cider has walked away with awards from the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition.
Locals Tip: Pick up a bottle of Kings Mill’s carbonated Raspberry Cider and add vanilla or chocolate ice cream for the perfect ice cream float. Because one can never have too much ice cream or cider.