Tamal de fresa? Strawberry tamal? That’s exactly what I said when I first heard of them. In all honesty, I was a bit intimidated when I saw a pink tamal, lol! My first thoughts were to try and find a better alternative to food coloring. This tamal de fresa recipe does include fresh blended strawberries. It’s just not enough to yield a pretty pink color. The natural red food coloring that I have just doesn’t give it that shade of pink I am looking for. I ran out of time, but would like to try preparing a hibiscus simple syrup, agua de jamaica to try and color the masa next time.
I ended up using a red food coloring gel in the end. A little goes a long way and the colors are vibrant! I use these gels for frosting and for coloring my conchas(pan dulce).
Tamal de Fresa. Strawberry Tamal.
Sweet tamales are also very traditional.
- 8-9 ounces fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 cups masa harina corn flour for tamales
- 2 tsp strawberry extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 tsp red food coloring gel
You Will Also Need
- 40 corn husk
- 1 cup craisins
- 1 cup golden raisins
Cover the corn husk with boiling water and let soak for a few hours before preparing tamales.
Cut the leaves off from the strawberries and rinse under cool water. Transfer to the blender. Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Blend until smooth and set aside.
In the stand mixer, whip the butter until creamy and fluffy. Mix in the baking powder and salt.
Gradually mix in the masa harina. It will look crumbly.
Mix in blended strawberries , and both extracts until well incorporated. Add the food coloring and mix the masa at medium speed for 3-4 minutes. If needed, scrape down the sides and mix again. Cover masa directly with plastic wrap and let sit for 30-40 minutes.
When ready, take one corn husk and tear it down one side of the husk so you have a 3 inch wide husk. You will spread a 2×2 section of masa on the bottom center of the husk. Fill with craisins and golden raisins down the center. Fold in the sides snug and then fold the flap up.
Place upen side up tamales into steamer pot that was previously filled with water that just comes up to the steamer insert. Cover tamales with extra corn husk. Cover and heat to high.
Once the tamales begin to steam rapidly, turn heat to medium. Set timer for 45 minutes. In the meantime, heat 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan on low. After 45 minutes, remove lid from steamer and carefully pour in 1 cup of hot water to one side of the pot. Never pour it directly on top of tamales. Cover and continue steaming tamales for another 45 minutes.
Once done, remove pot from heat and let them sit covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The will continue to set up as they sit in the pot.
If you wanted to strawberry flavor without using extract, you could mix in 1 cup of good quality strawberry preserves. Just be aware that the preserves are sweet, so you may want to hold off adding the sugar in the beginning.