Pumpkin season is in full effect. However, for this pumpkin-lover, it is a year round staple!
Last month on Facebook, I mentioned that I was making pumpkin tamales. You all went wild for the idea! For some reason I thought that these were more well-known, but apparently not!
Pumpkin tamales are super easy to make. Sort of. It takes a little getting used to the process. But trust me, the effort is so well worth it!
The flavors come together perfectly. You can enjoy this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert, or anytime in between! I eat these at least once per week and since you make such a HUGE batch, there is no reason not to have these little delights on hand in your freezer. (You can freeze the tamales uncooked).
Now, I am admittedly very depressed that I am posting this recipe. I recently learned that I can no longer have corn. It acts like gluten in my body. For a celiac, that is bad news. I have no idea what I shall do to get my beloved pumpkin tamale fix. But if I come up with a solution, I will share. Meantime, enjoy the heck out of these bad babies!
- 40+ dried corn husks
- 7 cups masa harina corn flour (I get mine from my affiliate partner Amazon)
- 2 cups packed brown sugar or 1 ½ cups raw honey
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 7 cups (or 58 ounces if using canned ) of pumpkin puree
- 4 sticks of organic butter, melted
- 2 cups of warm water
- 2 cups of walnuts, chopped
- 2 cups of raisins (optional)
*You can increase the spices to your taste preferences. I actually use double the amounts listed but I like my tamales to really pack a pumpkin-pie type punch).
- Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak the corn husks until softened. This takes about 30 minutes.
- In an extra-large bowl add the corn flour and the rest of the dry ingredients.
- Mix together making sure that all of the clumps are broken up with your fingers.
- Add all of the wet ingredients and once again, use your hands to mix the corn flour.
- Add more water as needed until you achieve the consistency of peanut butter.
- Fold in the walnuts and raisins.
- Assemble the tamales by using a rubber spatula to spread 1/2 cup to 1 cup of dough mixture onto the corn husk, depending on the size of the corn husk. The spread should cover about two thirds of the husk, away from the pointed end. MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE SPACE ON EACH SIDE TO FOLD!!!
- Gently fold one side of the corn husk to the other end and fold up the pointed end across. Lay each tamale fold-side down. There should be an open end to each tamale.
- Once the tamales are folded, choose one of the three methods to cook your tamales.
There are several methods to cook your tamales. I prefer to use a tamale steamer but have had success with the crock pot method. I personally do not like the stove top method. It makes the tamales a little mushy in my opinion.
Tamale Steamer Method:
- Fill a 24 quart tamale steamer with water just below the fill line and place the steam tray on the rack.
- Carefully place each tamale standing up on the steam tray without overloading it and bring water to a simmer. Steam with the lid on for 90 minutes.
- Remove each tamale with tongs and let rest for a few minutes before serving it.
Crock Pot Method:
- Stack the tamales carefully in the crock pot until it is full.
- Put the lid on and cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until a tester tamale looks and tastes done. The tamales on the edges will cook a bit faster.
- After 4 hours, check every 30 minutes or so. Once your tester looks good (use the same one and just keep re-wrapping it and adding it back if it isn’t ready), unplug the crockpot and keep the lid off. Don't unwrap any others until they've set for about 15 minutes.
- Layer a large pot with the wrapped tamales, seam side down, until halfway up the pot.
- Pour water over the tamales, covering them, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
- Do not unwrap for at least 15 minutes.