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
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.