Saturday, December 5, 2009

Apple Cranberry Sweet Tamales

Homemade Tamales have been going on this week...among a few other things. The final dessert one (that I will be sharing anyway...) is today. Tart apple with sweet cranberry and some hints of nutmeg, ginger in a sweet tamale dough. It's like a steamed pudding but a tamale. You can use pretty much any fruit. Blueberry is amazing as well as the ever evil blackberry. Use a little orange or lemon zest in your masa if you use berries. You'll be glad you did.

Chef Tess' Apple Cranberry sweet tamales (yield 6-8 medium tamales)

For my tamale dough:
1 cup of Maseca for tamales
1 cup warm apple juice concentrate
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup softened cream cheese
1/2tsp ground Wise Woman of The East Spice Blend (pumpkin pie spice will work)
1 tsp hazelnut oil (or 1/2 tsp brandy extract)
1 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional)
To make the dough:Combine Maseca, baking powder, salt, zest and spice in a bowl. Add apple juice concentrate and flavor to the dry ingredients. Add pieces of the butter and whip well. Continue adding butter until it is all combined and smooth. Add the cream cheese as well and whip until creamy smooth.

1 Granny smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup prepared whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tsp Wise Woman of The East Spice Blend
1 T honey

Combine all ingredients and simmer in a small sauce pan 3-5 minutes until apple is tender (or microwave 3 minutes).

You will need 8 pieces of parchment paper (8 inch squares) or 8 corn husks for tamales that have been soaked for 30 minutes. Parchment doesn't need to be soaked. Place a scoop of sweet masa dough in the middle of the parchment and spread out into a 2 inch circle. In the middle place 2 T of apple filling.

Cover the filling with dough.
Roll up the filling tightly in the parchment and fold the paper under.
Place in a steamer insert, cover with a clean damp kitchen towel and then cover with a tight lid. Steam 1 hour.
Serve warm drizzled with honey. Doesn't that honey look evil dripping off the tamale like that? I make extra filling and top with filling. In this case...we used some extra cranberry sauce. Enjoy.

There you go.


Goob said...

those are calling my name! And gave me a weird idea...(its the honey) how do you think a date/goatcheese/honey tamale would work out?

Chef Tess said...

Ummm Yum! Yeah those sound amazing. Dates are not my favorite...but I can see them working with that tart goat cheese and the honey. I really need to do another batch of tamales.

Unknown said...

When I first found your blog I was sad, I am gluten free and your not!
But this recipe is gluten free!!!!
I am excited to try this.

Chef Tess said...

Yes, I do have a few recipes that are gluten free since a lot of my friends are in that boat. Thanks for the great comment.

Maria said...

Parchment paper, brilliant! Thank you.