Sweet on Tamales
Don’t miss this twist on an authentic Mexican treat that’s as much fun to make as it is to eat.
Families all over the South have special holiday traditions. Within the Hispanic community, making tamales tops the list. Most folks think of these steamed bundles of goodness as strictly savory, usually filled with pork or chicken. But Sylvia Calvano of Hoover, Alabama, recalls her mother’s dessert tamales. “My mom was born and raised in Mexico, so tamales were always an important part of our Christmas celebration,” she says. “I loved the sweeter, fruit-filled versions that she made for our family and to share with the neighborhood.”
Sylvia has passed along the tradition to her three daughters. “Once you get started, tamales are really easy to make,” she adds. “The girls and I make a big batch every year as a way of spreading a little Christmas cheer.”
Sugar-and-Spice Fruit Tamales served with cinnamon-infused Vanilla Sauce is a festive combination that’s tough to beat. The dough incorporates canned pumpkin to give it a subtle sweetness, while the filling consists of crushed pineapple and chopped raisins.
"Sweet on Tamales" is from the November 2008 issue of Southern Living.