WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 cup Cacique® Queso Fresco cheese
- 4 lbs tortilla dough, at room temperature (can be purchased ready-made in a Hispanic specialty store, ask for it in the bakery section)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1-1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1 large can pineapple, crushed in juice
- 1 lb. raisins
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 25 corn husk leaves
- Must use a large capacity double boiler or tamale steamer
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Place corn husks in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and soak for at least 1 hour, remove excess water and pat each husk dry.
- In a large bowl, combine the masa, baking powder, sugar, water, juice from pineapple and shortening. Knead dough by hand until thoroughly mixed and texture is smooth and even.
- For the filling, in a separate bowl combine the pineapple, raisins, Crema Mexicana and cheese until well mixed.
- To make the tamales prepare one husk at a time by placing the husk on your open palm, smear 3 tablespoons of tamale dough on the husk, from side to side and all the way to the bottom, leaving 3 inches of the top of the husk untouched for folding. Add 1 spoonful of pineapple/raisin mixture in center of dough and bring sides of corn husk together. Fold 1/3 of the husk to the left, fold 1/3 to the right, overlapping, pinch the bottom to seal and gently fold over the top to create a small rectangle.
- If using a double boiler begin to boil the water and remove the upper chamber. Place the formed tamale, vertically and upside down (folded side down) in upper chamber. As you make the tamales tightly pack them in the upper chamber. Once you complete the first layer of tightly packed tamales you may begin a second layer of tamales placed horizontally.
- If using a tamale steamer, add adequate room temperature water, set the steamer grate. Place the formed tamales, vertically and upside down, tightly packed. Once you complete the first layer of tightly packed tamales you may begin a second layer of tamales placed horizontally.
- Cover and steam over medium high heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, check water level at 45 minutes (note: in a tamale steamer you will hear water boiling, if water is low gently add additional hot water on the side of the pot, trying to not add water over the tamales).
- Remove one of the tamale to check for doneness. Tamale is cooked when dough separates from the husk when unwrapping. Serve while hot, these tamales are great accompanied by champurrado.
- This is a family favorite, a treasured recipe that has been passed down through the generations, straight from Maria's Cocina.