Chef's note: Strawberries can be boiled in strawberry marmalade or syrup for extra flavor. Tamales are made in large quantities for special occasions and large celebrations, and they can be frozen to be eaten over an extended period of time. Bigger batches yield tastier tamales.
- 10 pounds masa (cornmeal flour)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 heaping tablespoons baking powder
- 4 cups vegetable shortening, boiled and cooled
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups strawberry/raspberry drink concentrate
- 1/4 cup strawberry marmalade
- 4 to 6 dozen dried corn husks
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- Waxed paper sheets
Place 10 pounds of masa in a large plastic mixing bowl. Mix 1/4 cup water with baking powder in a cup held over the bowl with the dry masa until it fizzes, then pour mixture evenly over masa. Melt 4 cups vegetable shortening in a large saucepan and allow to cool. Pour evenly over masa and knead masa with hands. Add sugar, brown sugar, drink concentrate and strawberry marmalade and work masa with a hand blender to mix evenly. When it starts to feel thick and compact (like fudge) its ready. Pat down in bowl and set aside.
To assemble the tamales, soak dried corn husks in warm water for about an hour until soft. Spread masa mixture evenly onto husk using a wooden spoon. Fill with a few strawberry slices and fold corn husk. Fold waxed paper around the tamale. Steam for 1 1/2 hours.
To steam: To make a steamer, place a metal rack (such as a cooling rack) in the bottom of a large stock pot or canner. Water level should be below the rack. Lay extra corn husks over rack. Stand the tamales on the folded edge in the steamer (the open edge with be facing upward). First fill the bottom of the steamer, then start stacking tamales on top of one another. Place any extra husks on top of tamales, cover with pot lid and steam for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Replenish boiling water, if necessary, during steaming time. The tamales are done when the husk peels away easily from the filling.