Very fresh corn provides a wonderful flavor to these sweet Peruvian humitas (tamales).
Serves: 15Hands-on: 1 hour 15 minutesTotal: 2 hours 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
- 1 lb. white corn kernels
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp. aniseed
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 package corn husks
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 cups boiling water
- To make the manjarblanco, combine the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring continuously until the mixture is thick and you can see the bottom of the saucepan, about 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Set ½ cup aside for the humitas and reserve the remainder for another use.
- For the humitas, grind the corn in a grain grinder, or process in a food processor. Set aside. Meanwhile, put the sugar in a saucepan with water to cover, add cinnamon stick, aniseed, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 7 minutes, or until a teaspoon of the sugar mixture forms a very soft ball when dropped in a glass of cold water. Add the reserved corn and stir to combine.
- Add shortening, stirring with a wooden spoon, and cook for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Have the corn husks ready, and proceed to make the humitas: Working with 2 corn husks at a time, place them on the table with the wide sides overlapping. Put 1 tablespoon of the corn mixture in the middle, but do not spread it. Add 1 teaspoon of manjarblanco, 1–2 raisins, and sprinkle with a dash of ground cinnamon. Fold the leaves from all four sides toward the center, overlapping to form a rectangle enclosing the filling completely. Tie the humitas with a string or kitchen twine, or you can make your own string with a piece of husk.
- In a large, wide saucepan make a thick layer of corn husks, put humitas over them, and cover with more corn husks. Add 2 cups boiling water, cover tightly with a lid, and steam for about 1 hour over high heat. Serve immediately.