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
Strawberry Simple Syrup
- 1 pound strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 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)
Strawberry Simple Syrup
- 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.
- Skim off and discard any foam that has risen to the surface.
- Let syrup cool in the saucepan for 1 hour.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and let cool completely (discard
berries or save for another use).
- The syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2
- Rinse corn husks and place in a large bowl. Cover with warm water.
Let stand until softened, about 1 hour.
- 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.
- Add sugars, preserves, and red food coloring (if using) and beat on
medium-low speed until combined and mixture is smooth.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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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