Q: Do you need a holiday Daley Question? I'm wondering if there is an actual recipe for ham with a Dr. Pepper glaze.
--Claudia Perry, Evanston
A: Yes! I always need holiday Daley Questions, my friend, so thank you very much. What struck me on researching your question is just how many recipes for ham call for Dr Pepper. It was almost enough to make me back away from my computer terminal, take a deep calming breath, and crack open a bottle of ice-cold ... Fresca. Just kidding!
There are recipes on a number of websites, including one from Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, David Leite of Leite's Culinaria using a Cook's Country magazine recipe, and even Alton Brown, the television personality and cookbook author, braising a country ham in a liter of Dr Pepper.
I checked in with the folks who make the iconic soft drink, Dr Pepper Snapple Group of Plano, Texas, and asked if there was an "official" recipe. Chris Barnes, corporate communications director, sent me a recipe that has appeared on company-owned websites. He's not sure of who developed it. See the recipe below.
I'm also offering two more recipes, Drummond's version of a proper glazed ham from her website, and a glaze recipe one from the folks at Gepperth's Market, the Chicago butcher shop, which can be made either with Dr Pepper or a cola; your choice
None of these three recipes have been tested by me, so stay a bit alert in using any of them. I can tell you my own ham glaze is closer to the Gepperth's Market recipe, with soy sauce and orange juice providing the liquid base for the glaze instead of Dr Pepper or cola. I also tend to zap it in the microwave until bubbly and thick; it's a snap.
Dr Pepper's ham with Dr Pepper glaze
Here's the recipe that's appeared on company-owned websites, according to Chris Barnes, director of corporate communications for Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
One 3-4 pound ham
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 12-oz. cans Dr Pepper
1.Cook ham according to package directions.
2.Glazes are usually applied about 1 to 1¼ hour before the ham is done. At that time, skin the ham, remove the surplus fat, score as desired and insert the whole cloves
3.Sprinkle and pat the brown sugar over the surface and gently pour the Dr Pepper over ham.
4.At frequent intervals in the remaining baking time, baste with the liquid in the pan.
5. The oven temperature for baking is 325 to 350 degrees, depending on browning desired.
Gepperth's ham glaze
Prep: 5 minutes. Cook: 5 minutes