Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
Although this has many steps, it's really not that difficult as long as you read it through and are organized.
- 18 dried corn husks
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 9 large cooking apples (such as Granny Smith)
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 cup warm apple juice
- 1 cup instant masa harina
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1⁄4 cup cream cheese, slightly softened
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup shelled chopped walnuts
- 1⁄4 cup golden raisin (optional)
- caramel sauce (optional)
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Soak cornhusks in hot water at least 2 hours or over night before preparation.
- For filling, combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pare apples and chop into bite sized pieces.
- Put apples in a large bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as you add the apples.
- When you have 8 cups, put apples, water and butter into a saucepan.
- Cover and cook over low to medium heat, stirring once or twice, for 15-20 minutes or until apples are tender.
- For the masa, puree half the cinnamon apples in a food processor, reserving the remaining apples for the filling.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, baking powder, salt and sugar on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Combine 1 cup of warm apple juice with 1 cup instant masa mix until just combined.
- Add half of the combined masa to butter mixture on medium speed until just incorporated. Add remaining masa mix and mix until just combined. Slowly add the pureed cinnamon apple to masa mixing on medium speed.
- The masa mix should have the appearance of cake batter. If not add additional apple juice or water.
- Refrigerate covered 15-20 minutes.
- Mix together the remaining cinnamon apples, golden raisins and walnuts.
- To assemble, lay out a few drained cornhusks. Add 1/4 cup tamale batter to the center of the cornhusks (roughly 2" from the square end and 1 1/2" from the tapered end) leaving a 1/2" on both sides and spread it out.
- Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the masa. Roll one side inward forming a roll of masa around the filling, the roll other side together.
- Twist each end in opposite directions forming a tight cylindrical tube and tie the ends with a 1/4" strips torn from soaked cornhusks.
- Place tamales between two slightly moistened towels as they are formed to prevent them from drying out.
- To Steam: Line steamer bottom with cornhusks, place tamales in single layer and cover with slightly moist towel. Steam for about 25 minutes and allow to rest for 15 minutes more in the steamer for masa to set up prior to serving. When first finished steaming, they are the consistency of polenta of cream of wheat. As it "sets" it will firm up.
- Optional: Top with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle the hot tamales with caramel sauce.
I loved the flavor and presentation. It was a lovely apple-pie effect with the nuts. Perfect. They do take a bit of time to prepare, but it would work beautifully if you made them and steamed them the day before your special dinner and then reheated them right before serving. I had them for an after dinner treat and then microwaved 2 for 1 minute and ate them for breakfast! Everyone loved the presentation. I did think the apple filling was a bit watery and might try not using any of the water. The apples exude quite a bit of liquid as they cook, so I will melt the butter and cook them gently with the lid on.