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Strawberry Tamales (or Tamales de Fresas) is a delightful twist on traditional tamales. If you’re a fan of sweet tamales like Pumpkin Tamales or Tamales Dulces, then these are an absolute must-try!
Picture a warm, fluffy tamale filled with the sweetness of fresh strawberries – it’s a match made in heaven!
- Fresh strawberries
- Warm Milk
- Masa Harina (do not substitute for regular corn flour)
- Baking Powder
- Mazola® Corn Oil
- Strawberry Jam (or strawberry preserves)
- Dried Corn Husks
How much sugar you need to add depends on the sweetness of the strawberries. If they are in season, you might need less. Adjust as you see fit.
To make this delicious recipe vegan, use almond milk instead of regular milk.
Other additions: 1 cup raisins or 1 cup coconut.
- Chop up fresh strawberries.
- Add half of them to a blender along with 2 cups of warm milk.
- Blend until smooth.
Look for ripe, red strawberries. If they are not very ripe, add a tablespoon of sugar to the blender.
Set the strawberry milk aside until you’re ready to use. Warm milk will help infuse the strawberry flavor better.
Swap out for store-bought strawberry milk.
How to Soak Corn Husks
- Separate the dry corn husks and remove any debris or hairs.
- Place in a large bowl and cover with hot water.
- Use a heavy object to submerge the corn husks under the water.
After about 20-25 minutes, they will be pliable. If not, leave them soaking longer.
I highly recommend doing this overnight. It’s one less step to think about the day of assembling tamales.
Rinse and shake off any excess water before using.
- In a large bowl, add the masa harina, baking powder, and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix to combine on medium speed.
- Then add the strawberry milk, oil, remaining strawberries.
- This time, carefully mix on low speed to combine.
The batter will resemble a sandy mixture- thick but smooth. If the tamale dough is so thick that it’s hard to spread on the corn husk, add a splash or two of water.
Here, we are using Mazola® Corn Oil instead of lard or shortening. It’s a heart-healthy* cooking oil that has multiple purposes – baking, grilling, even good for marinades. Plus, it’s neutral in flavor which is perfect for this dish.
Did you know Mazola® Corn Oil is also officially Heart-Check certified by the American Heart Association (@american_heart)?! The Heart-Check is designed to help consumers make informed choices about the foods they purchase, and by having an all-purpose cholesterol free** cooking oil on hand like Mazola® Corn Oil you’re always certain to prepare easy and delicious meals for you and the whole family!
How to Fold Tamales
- Spread the masa mixture all over the bottom half of a softened corn husk.
- Add a tablespoon of strawberry jam to the center of the masa.
- Fold corn husk sides in. Fold the pointy top to the center of the husk.
Leave the pointy top of the husk alone. It will help us fold the tamales.
There are people who use a corn husk strip to tie the tamal. That’s totally optional.
In my personal opinion, homemade tamales are hard enough. Why add an extra step?
- Add the steamer insert.
- Place tamales inside the steamer pot with the open end up.
- Steam on medium-low heat for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours.
As you assemble, keep the tamales open side up. Be very careful that they do NOT tilt down, or the filling will spill out.
How to Keep Tamales Standing Upright
The easiest and best way to keep the tamales from falling over is to make a few balls of aluminum foil and add them to the pot.
… OR, place corn husks that were not used to keep them upright.
How to Tell if Tamales are Ready
The tamales are done when the corn husk pulls away from masa easily. The masa should not be sticky and should not stick to the corn husk.
After an hour, if they are not ready, check the water level and add more water, if necessary. Steam tamales for an additional 1/2 hour. If after 1 1/2 hours they are not ready, turn off the heat and let the tamales sit in the pot with the lid on for an additional 1/2 hour.
More Mexican Tamales
- Instant Pot Chicken Tamales
- Red Pork Tamales
- Chicken Salsa Verde Tamales
- Jalapeno and Cheese Tamales
These sweet Strawberry Tamales (or Tamales de Fresa) are a unique twist on classic Mexican tamales.
Made with masa dough and fresh strawberries, these tamales are a delicious and playful treat that you won’t want to miss out on.
Serve with more strawberry jam or dulce de leche, and you can’t forget a big cup of champurrado. Provecho!
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Strawberry Tamales (Tamales de Fresa)
- 30-35 corn husks
- 10 cups hot water (to soak the corn husks)
- 2 cups strawberries stems removed, cut into chunks
- 2 cups warm milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups masa harina
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
- 4 drops red food coloring (optional)
- 2 tbsp water (for masa filling) – optional
- water (enough to fill the steamer pot)
- 1/2 cup strawberry jam
Soaking the Corn Husks:
- Separate the husks and remove any debris like hair.
- Soak the corn husks in 10 cups of hot water.
- Use enough water to cover the husks.
To Make the Filling:
- Blend the 2 cups milk and 1 cup of the strawberries until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, 2 cups masa harina, baking powder, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Add the oil and strawberry milk.
- Mix well to combine.
- Add remaining masa harina, the remaining chopped strawberries, and food coloring (if using).
- Beat on low speed until fully combined.
- (Add a 2 tbsp water, if the batter is too thick).
How to Assemble Tamales:
- Drain the corn husks. Shake off excess water.
- Place the husk in your hand and spread the masa mixture to the center of the husk, leaving the pointy top about 2 to 3 inches.
- Note: you will need more or less masa depending on the size of the corn husk.
- Add 1 tbsp of strawberry jam to the center of the dough.
- Fold in both sides into the center of the corn husk.
- Then fold the pointy top inward, toward the center of the corn husk.
- Repeat until there are no more tamales.
- Place uncooked tamales open side up in a container until ready to fill the steamer pot.
- Fill the bottom of the steamer pot with water.
- Place the tamales inside the steamer side, open side up.
- Steam for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours.
- Remove a tamal to test. When the tamal peels away from the husk easily, the tamales are ready.
- Let cool slightly before serving.
*See www.mazola.com for information about the relationship between corn oil and heart disease.
**Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tbsp (16g) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease.
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