Sweet Pineapple Tamales are filled with coconut, raisins and fresh pineapple and served with crema or sour cream.
30 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.
Yield: about 30 tamales