Although the cornbread won't brown like traditional baked cornbread, it will darken as the tamale mixture soaks into the cornbread mixture. To be sure the cornbread is done, test with a toothpick toward the end of the cook time. If it comes out clean, it's done.
Traditional tamales have a cornmeal dough rolled around a spicy meat or sweet filling and are then wrapped in corn husks or foil before being steamed. This pie uses tamale ingredients--with a twist.