First served at Routh Street Cafe, in Dallas, in the late 1980s, chef Stephan Pyles's elegant tamale tart began as a baked dish: a soft corn masa shell topped with Pyles's signature venison chili (the dish was originally an homage to the humble, chili-topped Frito pie) and cooked in the oven. Over the decades, Pyles has refined the tart through trial and error and, in the process, brought it closer in spirit and practice to a traditional tamale. He ditched the oven for a steamer, which keeps the masa shell moist, and he sealed the tart in plastic wrap to mimic a tamale's corn husk cocoon. The steaming performs double duty: it helps the silky, savory garlic custard (which replaced the venison chili) to set gently, while also producing an especially tender tamale shell. Here's how it's done.