The Biltmore House’s Tawny Baked Ham

The Biltmore House's Tawny Baked Ham


  • 9 pound ham, precooked & bone-in
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups total of a mix of any of these dried fruits: dates, prunes, figs, apricots halved, dried cherries and/or cranberries)
  • 1 cup tawny port
  • whole cloves if using


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove skin and excess fat from ham (if it has skin, and most modern hams don’t) and score through the fat and ham in a diamond design at one-inch intervals. Place ham fat side up in a greased or oiled baking dish (a large cast-iron skillet works well) and rub first with the Dijon, then pack on the brown sugar. Pour the apple cider around the ham.

Insert a meat thermometer, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone, and bake, uncovered, for one hour, basting several times. (Watch the level of the liquid and add a little more if it seems in danger of completely evaporating.)

After the initial hour is up, add the fruit and port and continue to bake another 30 minutes, basting now and then until the internal temperature is 140 degrees F. Transfer ham to a platter, surround it with the fruit (or add fruit to a compote dish) and add sauce to a saucepan. Simmer the sauce to reduce by half. See note if your ham is a different size.

Slice ham and serve ham with the fruit and the sauce.


  • For a cooked ham under 10 pounds, the rule of thumb is 10 minutes per pound. The initial cook was 60 minutes. At 9 pounds, this ham will need another 30 minutes after the fruit and port are added. If your ham is another size, adjust accordingly, either subtracting or adding more time.
  • If desired, whole cloves may be inserted in the center of each diamond. Use a sharp object, ice pick, skewer, etc. to pierce the ham, then insert clove in the hole.

Keywords: Alcohol, apple cider, biltmore estate, Dried Fruit, Ham, Pork, port, tawny port

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