Baked Ham in Pastry

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2 1⁄2 hours 20 Servings Print RecipeEmail Recipe


7 egg yolks (separated)
1cupice water
1 precooked ham (about 12 to 14 pounds)
3tablespoonheavy cream
12tablespoonbutter (chilled and cut into 1/4 inch pieces)
12tablespoonlard (chilled and cut in the 1/4 inch pieces)


Mix together one egg yolk and the 3 tablespoons of heavy cream.

In a large chilled mixing bowl, combine the flour, butter and lard. With your fingertips rub the flour and fat together until they look like coarse meal. (Alternatively you can also use a pastry blender.) Mix six of the egg yolks thoroughly into the dough. Pour 1/2 cup of the ice water over the mixture all at once, knead vigorously and gather the dough into a ball. If the dough crumbles, add up to 1/2 cup more ice water, a tablespoonful at a time, until the particles adhere. Dust the dough with a little flour, wrap it in waxed paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 350°F. Cut off about one quarter of the dough and return it to the refrigerator. Place the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface and pat into a rough square about 1 inch thick. Then roll the dough into approximately an 18-inch square.

Pat the ham completely dry with paper towels. Set ham on pastry square and fold two ends of the dough over the sides of the ham. Holding the dough firmly in place turn the ham over. Gently fold the dough under around the entire ham, following its shape. Be careful not to tear the dough.

If you would like to decorate the ham, sketch out an outline of stems (as on a plant) in the dough with a knife point. Roll out the remaining dough and, with a cookie cutter or small knife, cut out pastry leaves. Lift up the leaves with the knife carefully. With the edge of the knife, firmly delineate the veins of the leaf on each pastry leaf. Then brush the bottoms of the leaves with the egg and cream mixture. Set that leaves along the stem outlines on the ham, overlapping them slightly.

To make roses, roll up 3” x 1" strips of dough. Pull the outer flap down slightly while pushing up the center, and trim off 1/2 inch from the bottom of the rose.

Brush the pastry decorations and ham wrapped in pastry with the egg and cream mixture.

Place the covered ham on a large ungreased baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for one hour, or until the crust is golden brown.

To serve, let the ham cool to room temperature before carving it into 1/2 inch thick slices.

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