By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 27, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Ham is classic Easter fare, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. This recipe is an inventive twist on the classic ham with pineapple that your guests will adore. And you'll love the ease with which it comes together.

Spiral sliced ham is a boon for anyone throwing a large Easter gathering. Not only is every slice the same thickness but, if cooked properly, the ham will be tender and juicy and require nothing more than a horizontal cut to the bone before serving.

The trouble with spiral sliced hams is that, because they're precooked, it's easy to dry them out during reheating. This recipe makes use of the slow cooker, which ensures a moist, tender ham while freeing up your oven for all those delicious Easter side dishes.

Even better, you'll impress your guests when you serve up slices of moist, hot ham topped off with a delicious sweet and sour pineapple chutney. In the chutney, which can be made two days ahead, lime juice stands in for the usual vinegar, imparting a fruity tang that's complimented by the subtle flavors of rum and allspice and the savory herbal notes of thyme.

This recipe is based on the use of a spiral sliced half ham. Be sure to buy a ham that fits in your slow cooker. An oblong 6 ½-quart model is ideal for an average sized half ham.

No Fuss Spiral Sliced Ham with Pineapple Rum Chutney

Spiral sliced half ham

Place the ham into your slow cooker. Add ½ cup or more of water to cover the bottom of the cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours, until ham is heated through. An 8-9 pound ham will take approximately 5 hours in an average slow cooker.

Serve with pineapple chutney (recipe follows)

Pineapple Chutney

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup white rum
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and diced into ½ inch pieces
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of crushed red pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion until for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly soft. Add ginger and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add rum to pan; cook 30 seconds or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in pineapple, lime juice, sugar and spices; bring to a boil. Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pineapple is tender and liquid has thickened up to an almost "jammy" consistency. Remove from heat; cool slightly before serving.

The chutney can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat slightly before serving, if desired.

This week, March 26-30, presents five Easter recipes in our Dining section. You'll have the opportunity, via this contest and courtesy of Roundy's, to win the ingredients to create each featured recipe.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.