Set the table for Easter Sunday

Easter is Sunday, and I know everyone is thinking about what to cook. Of course, the ham in most homes is the center of dinner, with sides around and wonderful pies and cakes.

Honey Apricot Glazed Ham

8-9 pound ham, not sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3 cups water

2 cups dry white wine

10 sprigs fresh thyme

2 diced bay leaves

½ cup apricot preserves

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a sharp knife, lightly score the outside of ham. To score, make shallow diamond-shaped cuts across the surface.

Rub olive oil and ground pepper over ham. Place ham on rack of a large roasting pan, then pour water and wine into bottom of pan.

Add thyme and bay leaves, then cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for one hour.

In a small bowl, stir together apricot preserves and remaining ingredients.

Uncover ham and glaze, then bake until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees and ham is caramelized. Remove from oven; transfer to a serving platter and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

To make your ham the centerpiece of the dinner, place pineapple rings and a cherry in the middle of each slice. I slide this back in the oven, after placing the pineapple and cherries, and brown the pineapple – just a little. Turn on the broiler so it will not take four or five minutes to put a glaze on the pineapple.

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

(Make the crust or buy one – homemade is much better.)

Filling:

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest

1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds reserved

¼ cup all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1 1/4 cups whole buttermilk

½ cup sour cream

½ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup lemon juice (fresh is best)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, zest and reserve vanilla seeds ­– rub together with your fingers.

In a separate, medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar, whisking until combined. Add eggs and yolks, whisking gently to avoid incorporating excess air, until smooth.

In small bowl whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, whipping cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Add buttermilk mixture to egg mixture, whisking until smooth. Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Set oven heat to 325 degrees. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes – the filling should jiggle slightly in the middle.

Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack.

Serve with your favorite topping, like this whipped topping recipe.

Ginger Cream Topping

(Makes 2 cups)

1 cup heavy cream

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon coconut extract

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, beat all ingredients at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Use immediately or store covered in refrigerator for up to three days.

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