5 cups Masa Harina
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup lard (no substitutes)
3 cups chicken stock, heated
2/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup raisins
3 ounces corn husks, rinsed and soaked in hot
water for several hours to soften
Combine Masa Harina, salt, baking powder, cinnamon an sugar; set
Place lard in large mixing bowl an beat at high speed with electric
mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add masa mixture
in 2 to 3 batches, alternately with warm (not hot) broth, beating
constantly. Add nuts, mixing to distribute evenly through the dough.
Dough should be soft, but pliable, not watery. To test dough, place
a small piece in a cup of water. If the dough floats, it is the
Pat corn husks dry. Wet your hands. Place a husk in the palm of
one hand, and using the back of a spoon, spread about 2 tablespoons
of the dough into a rectangle, starting at the wide end of the husk.
Leave about 1 1/2 inches at the wide end of the husk and about 3
inches at the pointed end. Spread dough to within 3/4-inch of the
sides. Fill with 1 teaspoon raisins. Roll sides of tamales to seal
the filling. Fold over wide end to seal bottom. Place folded side
down on cookie sheet. Repeat until dough and filling are used. You
should have about 2 dozen.
Fill bottom of a large tamale steamer or large pot with a rack or
colander in the bottom with water to depth of about 1 inch. Water
should not touch the rack. Line rack with some of the remaining
husks. Arrange tamales vertically, wide, folded end down, on rack.
Tamales should be packed, but not crammed, so they will remain vertical.
Cover tamales with more corn husks or a layer of clean dish towels
to prevent the tamales from absorbing too much water. They should
be steamed, not immersed. Cover pot with lid.
Bring water to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Ensure
that water does not cook away during this time, adding more as needed.
Check tamales for doneness. Tamales are done when the masa easily
separates from the husk and the tamale retains its shape. If not
done, continue steaming for up to 2 1/2 hours, or as needed. If
necessary, cook tamales in batches, reserving tamales in refrigerator
until ready to cook.
Cooked tamales may be refrigerated several days or frozen for several
weeks. Reheat, wrapped tightly in foil, in a 300 degrees F oven,
about 30 minutes.