Maltese figolli are baked sweet pastry cut in different shapes (ranging from butterflies, fish, sirens to lambs, etc) filled with almonds meal paste. They are coated with royal icing and colorfully decorated with chocolate and Easter eggs. Tradition requests that figolli should not be eaten until Easter Sunday, when it’s time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. There is something truly special about having traditional food that is baked for a special event during the calendar year. As a special treat this year and as I suspect I have just added another tradition to our Easter celebrations I made my very first home made Figolli. I began the epic search for the perfect recipe (Wanting it to be a traditional one!) I noticed countless references which required you to cut the pastry with a Figolli cutter. Ok back to the drawing board! Now I need a template that I can use to cut the shapes as these beautiful buttery bickies are about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Time to put my artistic creativity to the test. Just finished my three designs A Bunny Face, Baby Chick and an Egg. There are three layers to each Figolli, like a sandwich – a sheet of almond meal is encased between the two layers of dough. Step:1 Step: 2 Step: 3 Step: 4 Repeat the process with the other designs Now the fun begins, decorating your Figolli! I have chosen to use fondant for these three but the traditional method states that royal icing is used to decorate them. Using the templates that I made and a few cookie cutters these are my finished Maltese Easter Cakes. Happy Easter to my Maltese husband and all his family. How lucky am I? I get two Easters to celebrate this year as the Greek Orthodox Easter is not until late April this year. I have since found another recipe which I think looks great by Shane Delia’s Mum.
1 kilo self-raising flour
250gms unsalted butter
600mls thickened cream
1 cup caster sugar
Melt butter, let cool. Then add to flour and add cream, knead lightly.
1 kilo Almons meal (ground)
500gms caster sugar
6 egg whites
1-2 cups of water
Beat egg whites with sugar until you have soft white peaks.
Slowly fold in almond meal and almond essence and water.
Roll out the pastry and cut out two of the same shape.
Spread filling in centre of one pastry shape, dabbing the edges with water or milk and then placing the second shape on top.
Bake in moderate oven until golden brown. Let them cool.
Decorate with a layer of white icing and then let your imagination go wild with coloured icing, lollies and more!