Sticky Apricot Glazed Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

I haven’t made scalloped potatoes in over a decade. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I never made scalloped potatoes that weren’t disappointing. I made them with warmed milk, and by simmering the potatoes in the milk first, then baking the partially cooked milky potato sludge. No dice.

Tonight I made scalloped potatoes because I was baking a ham, and I figured I’d best get back on that horse. (W asked me to roast him a ham as a bedtime snack earlier this week, and so because entire baked hams are not standard bedtime fare, I promised one on the weekend.) The two go together, don’t you think? And can only be served on a Sunday. All is well with the world when you find yourself at a table full of people, a sticky baked ham and a big pan of warm scalloped potatoes on a Sunday.

As it turns out, the two are soul mates, requiring the same time and attention in the oven – perhaps the reason they have come to be companions at the table.

The ham was a cinch. Unwrap, dump in pan, put in the oven. Go about making scalloped potatoes, slide them into the oven alongside. (350F is fine.) After about an hour, slide both out. Brush the ham with glaze (any kind) and take the foil off the potatoes. If you like, scatter a handful of grated cheese (cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere – whatevs) overtop if you like. Turn the oven up to 375F and slide them both back into the oven for another 20 minutes or so, until the top of the potatoes is bubbly and golden, and the ham is sticky and glazed.

Because there was a large jar of apricot jam in the fridge that wasn’t going anywhere fast, I used some – spooned about 1/3 cup into a ramekin, microwaved it enough to be brushable, and stirred in a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, a splash of balsamic and squirt (a tablespoon?) of grainy mustard. You can really do what you like here – the key is to brush it on toward the end, as sugary glazes can burn if they spend too much time in the oven.

This is likely the standard formula for scalloped potatoes out there – thinly sliced potatoes layered with a bit of onion, baked in a creamy plain white sauce – but mine came from Canadian Living.
(I opened up the oven and tossed a handful of cheese overtop toward the end. A good idea, no?)

Scalloped Potatoes
Scalloped Potatoes

Classic Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe link


April 15, 2012

  • Makes: Serves 6-8.


4-5 russet or large Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed (don't bother peeling them)

1 small onion


1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 - 3 cups milk

1 tsp. fresh or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme (optional)

salt & pepper

1/2-1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, Gouda, Gruyere or a combination - optional)


1Thinly slice the potatoes and onion - use a mandolin if you have one; you want them as thin as possible. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. You should have a thick paste. Whisk in the milk (I started with the 2 1/2 cups the recipe called for, but wound up adding another splash because I thought it seemed a little thick) along with the thyme and some salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, for a minute.

2Layer the potatoes and onion in a buttered baking dish; about a third of the potatoes, half the onions, another third of the potatoes, the rest of the onions and the rest of the potatoes. Pour sauce over top, and move a few of the potatoes around with the tip of a knife to let some of the sauce ooze between the layers.

3Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 1 hour. Uncover, scatter with cheese if you like, and bake until lightly browned and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes: Serves 6-8.

We finished with a pan of warm chocolate chunk browned butter blondies at the table with coffee – inspired by the remains of a solid Easter bunny that had been taking up space on the kitchen counter. With a few extra around the table, I figured a little something sweet for dessert was in order. Blondies, like brownies, are dense and chewy – but are even quicker to mix together and bake. I stirred the batter together (browning the butter first) and slid the pan into the oven as we ate, so that they were warm and I needed only to bring the pan to the table after dinner. If only we had a tub of vanilla ice cream…


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19 comments on “Sticky Apricot Glazed Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

  1. Jennifer Jo
    April 16, 2012 at 5:16 am

    I love how you make cooking sound so logical and do-able.

    My favorite potatoes are Julia Child’s recipe (I think): potatoes sliced thin and simmered in a pot of cream with a bay leaf and clove of garlic before being dumped into a casserole pan, sprinkled with a bit of Gruyere, and baked.

  2. Carolyn
    April 16, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Love this post….my mouth is watering. You make it look so easy. I agree with your comment about scalloped potaotes – I often find them bland or watery. When I do make them, my go-to recipe is from an old Best of Bridge cookbook.

  3. Ann
    April 16, 2012 at 9:31 am

    We had ham and scalloped potatoes for dinner last night too! Except I forgot that I had to be at the Garden Show all day, so I left instructions for dinner with my husband. I don’t know if he was happy, but he pulled it off. We had chocolate brownies with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert.
    I often make Julia Child’s Gratin Dauphinois instead of scalloped potatoes – so good, but a lot of butter!
    Now do you have any recipes for leftover ham:)?

  4. JulieVR
    April 16, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Why I just did a round-up of recipes over at the Family Kitchen! http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2012/04/10/10-delicious-uses-for-leftover-ham/

  5. EB
    April 16, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I have the same angst about scallopped potatoes. Not enough flavour and sometimes my potatoes aren’t fully cooked. I just tried an au gratin recipe that instructed me to parboil the sliced potatoes with 2 cloves of minced garlic in the water. Delicious! Seems logical that it could be tried with the scallopped version. My potatoes broke apart, but yum!

  6. Korena
    April 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    This is the only scalloped potatoes recipe that has ever worked for me, but I had totally forgotten about it, so thanks for the reminder! I made a different recipe this Easter and ended up with a watery, curdled mess. Yech. Yours look so creamy and delicious.

  7. Laurie from Burnaby
    April 17, 2012 at 10:27 am

    For left over ham you can make ham and pea soup (it’s better if you have a bone to simmer, but if not just cut up the ham and put it in). You can also make eggs benny (doesn’t really use up much ham, but it’s a favourite in my house). You can also make real ham and cheese sandwiches. You can slice up the ham and freeze it in small batches to use whenever the mood occurs to you. Then there’s quiches, fritatas, and ham pies (ham and onions and potatoes cooked in little pies with a white sauce to moisten them) lots of things :)

  8. Corry
    April 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I love your blog! Thanks so much for the Chocolate Chunk Browned Butter Blondies recipe. I was thinking the exact same thing with our abundance of Easter chocolates. I’m definitely going to chop of those chocolate eggs and throw them in this recipe. :)

  9. Vincci
    April 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    That sounds so delish! Like a classic Sunday dinner – sounds like you had a good weekend!

  10. Stephanie
    April 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Since I’m always the baker and never the cook I am filled with horror when I realize that an entire meal and its timing is up to me (like when I throw a dinner party instead of a brunch). This post made me sigh with relief even though I don’t have any dinner parties coming up. Saving it for later when I start asking myself how on earth I’m going to get all the food to be ready at the same time.

  11. Sheila
    April 17, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I am with you on the scalloped potatoes…one of those things I always stay away from as mine never taste as good as everybody elses…I do love them though(have even resorted to the dried kind that come in a box when desperate) I have to try the warmed chocolat chunk blondies though…sound delish.

  12. jenna
    April 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    My mom has mastered the art of scalloped potatoes and passed the technique on to lucky me! Use chicken stock instead of milk or cream….. make your roux and stir in the stock (this is called a veloute I believe) you can use milk if you run out of stock and it needs to be thinned a bit. Then season with salt and pepper and a large dollop/generous tablespoon of grainy mustard (or whatever mustard needs using up). In casserole dish place your sliced potatoes (raw) layered alternately with sliced onion and sprinkled with chopped garlic (lots if you have it!) pour sauce over top of potatoes and sprinkle with cheese if desired then cover with foil (trying not to press onto top or cheese will stick to foil) and bake covered for an hour ish then uncovered until nice and brown and bubbly! A delicious accompaniment to the ham or salmon or…. anything really!

  13. Barb
    April 18, 2012 at 7:34 am

    What a great sounding meal! Very Easter dinnerish. I like to recycle my chocolate bunnies, too!

  14. Gracie
    April 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    These look sooo good, you have me thinking about Thanksgiving!

  15. Faith
    May 30, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Silly question: Did you use a precooked ham for this? Thanks!

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