Sweet Pineapple Tamales (Tamales de Dulce)
40 to 50 dried corn husks
3/4 cup firmly packed crushed piloncillo or brown sugar
1/4 cup lard or vegetable shortening (at room temperature)
1/4 cup butter or margarine (at room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Masa Harina
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3/4 to 1 cup warm water
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1/3 cup raisins
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 cups crema or sour cream
- Place corn husks in large pot; add very hot water to cover. Top husks with plate and heavy jar to keep submerged. Let stand at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Drain corn husks; rinse and rub each husk under running water to remove any silk and debris. Drain well; pat dry. Wrap in towel to keep pliable.
- Combine piloncillo, lard and butter in large mixer bowl; beat until light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Mix Masa Harina, 1/4 cup at a time; beat until thoroughly blended. Gradually beat in warm water, using just as much as is needed to form dough that just holds together. Stir in coconut and raisins.
- For each tamale, spread rounded tablespoon dough in center of 1 corn husk to form 3-inch square; top with 4 to 6 pineapple pieces. Make 30 tamales in all. Fold tamales.
- Line large steamer basket with remaining corn husks. Stack tamales in basket, seam sides down. Cover tamales with kitchen towel. Place steamer basket over 3 to 4 inches boiling water; cover with lid. Adjust heat to maintain gentle boil. Steam tamales about 40 minutes.
- Remove 1 tamale from center of basket and carefully unwrap; if dough pulls easily away from husk, it is done. If necessary, steam 5 or 10 minutes longer and test again.
- Serve tamales hot.