|Time:||1.5 hour preparation, 30 minutes cooking|
Figolli (singular Figolla) are the typical Maltese sweet for Easter. They are prepared in batches and given as gifts to friends and family. The shape of the Figolla is traditionally an Estar related figure, but today one can buy commercially produced figolli in all shapes. See below for how to get the right shapes. This recipe is for preparing plain figolli, but they should always be decorated with either a chocolate covering or, more typically, with decorative icing.
(for 4 Figolli)
- 800 g self-raising flour
- 200 g margarine
- 200 g Sugar
- 4 eggs
- the rind of 1 orange, grated finely
- 2 or 3 tablespoons water
- Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the margarine until the mixture is back to a powdery consistency
- In a separate container, mix the eggs and sugar until well blended
- Mix the orange rind into the egg and sugar
- Fold the egg, sugar and rind into the flour and margarine.
- If necessary add some water to aid the blending. Add the water very carefully, drop by drop, as you will only need a little bit and too much will ruin the pastry.
- In a small skillet, gently heat the water and dissolve all the sugar into it
- Once the sugar has completely dissolved, bring the water to the boil, and immediately remove from the heat
- Stir the ground almonds into the hot sugar solution
- Mix well until you get a paste like filling
Preparing the Figolli
- Flour a clean surface and spread about a quarter of the pastry with a rolling pin.
- Cut two identical Figolli shapes (see below) from the pastry and remove the excess.
- Spread about a quarter of the filling on one of the shapes. Leave between 1 or 2 cm from the border of the pastry without any filling on it.
- Place the second identical shape on top of the first, making sure to align both shapes properly.
- Press the edges of the two pieces of pastry all around so they combine. Wetting the fingers with some cold water can help if the 2 layers are difficult to combine.
- Repeat the above steps for the other 3 Figolli
To bake, pre-heat the oven to 190 C. Place double layer of Baking paper on a baking tray and place the figolli gently on paper. Cook until the top turns golden, and the edges start becoming dark (about 30 mins).
To get the right shapes you should use metal cut out templates which are like cookie cutter templates, but larger and in different shapes.
Alternatively, a printable template is available. Print the picture on an A4 sheet of paper, then cut the shape with scissors. Stack 3 or for sheets of paper and glue them together for stiffness, or print on cardboard if your printer allows it. Place the cut out on the pastry and follow it with the end of a very sharp pointed knife. While this will not give the finest results, the traditional Maltese figolla is expected to be modest in appearance, and only factory produced ones are regularly shaped.
These shapes are a rather small size of figgola, so with the above quantities your figolli might turn out a bit on the fat side compares to what is typical. On the other hand, the larger the ratio of filling to pastry the more tasty the figolla tends to be.