Guava Cheese Tamales
Makes 16 tamales
Not just for dessert, these sweet tamales double as a perfect brunch item when you’re in a Caribbean mood.
- 1 8-oz. pkg. corn husks
- 4 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 oz. cotija cheese, grated
- 1 cup guava paste
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 3 ½ cups masa harina
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 5 Tbs. vegetable shortening, at room temperature
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup warm apple juice
1. To make Tamales: Simmer corn husks in large pot of boiling water 10 minutes. Remove from heat, weight husks with plate to keep submerged, and soak 1 hour, or until pliable.
2. Combine cream cheese and cotija cheese in bowl. Stir together guava paste and lime juice in separate bowl. Set aside.
3. To make Masa: Combine masa harina, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in bowl. Stir in 2 1/4 cups hot water until mixture is just crumbly. Beat butter and shortening with electric mixer 1 minute, or until combined and light and fluffy. Add sugar and half of masa harina mixture; beat well to combine. Alternate adding apple juice and remaining masa harina mixture; beat until consistency of thick batter.
4. Choose 16 large, pliable husks, or overlap 2 or 3 smaller husks to have enough wrappers for 16 Tamales. Make 32 ties by cutting 2 or 3 remaining husks into strips. Pat husks dry with towel.
5. Spread 1/3 cup of Masa in center of each husk. Spread 2 lines of cheese mixture and guava mixture side by side over center of Masa. Fold over sides of corn husks to make Tamales. Tie ends with husk strips to keep closed.
6. Place Tamales in steamer basket over simmering water. Steam 1 hour, or until husks unwrap easily. Cool slightly before serving.
December 2012 p.47