Strawberry Tamales

If you choose to color the masa, you can make it anywhere from light pink to a rose color. I like to use paste food coloring because the color is more intense.

Strawberry Tamales

Ingredients

Strawberry Simple Syrup

  • 1 pound strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water

Strawberry Tamales

  • 2 dozen dried corn husks
  • 1 1/2 cups instant corn masa flour, such as Maseca
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Strawberry Syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • 2/3 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • Macerated strawberries, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Strawberry Simple Syrup

  1. In a large saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and simmer until berries turn pale and liquid is red, about 10 minutes.
  2. Skim off and discard any foam that has risen to the surface.
  3. Let syrup cool in the saucepan for 1 hour.
  4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and let cool completely (discard berries or save for another use).
  5. The syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Strawberry Tamales

  1. Rinse corn husks and place in a large bowl. Cover with warm water. Let stand until softened, about 1 hour.
  2. Combine masa flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Mix on low speed until blended. With the machine running, add syrup, then 1/4 cup water in a slow stream. When a sandy mixture has formed, add shortening and beat on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Add sugars, preserves, and red food coloring (if using) and beat on medium-low speed until combined and mixture is smooth.
  4. With the soft side of husk facing up and the tapered end closest to you, spread scant 1/4 cup masa mixture into 3” by 4” rectangle in the center of husk, making sure the 4-inch side is flush with the top of husk. Place 3 strawberry slices vertically down one side of masa. Use husk to fold the other side of masa rectangle over to enclose berries. Then fold the open side over to enclose mixture entirely, and fold up tapered bottom end, leaving top open. Place, folded side down, on a tray. Repeat with remaining mixture and berries. Tear 1 husk into thin strips and use to wrap around tamales, securing ends and sides.
  5. Fit a deep saucepan with a steamer insert or rack, fill with water to the bottom of the insert, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Line the steamer insert with a layer of husks, then arrange tamales upright in the steamer, open sides up. Place husks over tamales and cover the steamer. Steam tamales, replenishing water when necessary and adjusting heat to maintain a light simmer, until tamales are cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours (tamales should release easily from husks).
  6. Remove from the steamer and cool slightly. Unwrap, top with macerated berries if desired, and serve warm.

Photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo / AGCuesta

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