Friday, April 10, 2009

Figolla toil and trouble

I made the mistake of telling my sister about fellow blogger Gourmet Worrier's figolla project and I was lumbered with making the traditional Easter sweet with my nephews and niece! I thought I'd share the recipe with my blog readers so that you have no excuse but to toil for the whole of the Saturday before Easter.

Ingredients for the pastry:
350 grams caster sugar
800 grams plain flour
400 grams margarine
4 beaten egg yolks
Grated rind of 1 lemon (The lemons here are just so fragrant!)
Vanilla essence

Ingredients for the filling:
600 grams icing sugar
2 egg whites
Teaspoon of orange flower water
600 grams of ground almonds

Glacé icing
Any other sweets you can get hold of

The fun part is deciding what shape your pastry is going to have. You can find ready made shapes or you can just create a template by drawing a simple outline onto a piece of paper or cardboard and cut it to shape. I started off with some more ambitious designs that I thought would entertain the children - cute monster types - and ended up doing other smaller and simpler egg shapes.

Mix the sugar and the flour, then rub in the butter. Add the yolks and grated lemon rind and keep on kneading.

Two of the siblings were barred from this, one because of the suspiciously persistent dark remains under his nails and the other because we were not keen on finding any of her newly glued pretty nails ingrained in the sweet.

Place the dough in the fridge to chill for an hour.

In the meantime, place all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix well and then knead.

Roll out the pastry and cut two of each shape. Lay the first shape onto a baking tin that has been lightly buttered and then spread the filling to cover the first shape, leaving a margin all around. Be rather generous with the filling, otherwise you will only taste the pastry. Lay the second shape on top and press the edges together (wet your finger with water so as to have a better seal).

Bake at 200'C/400'F/gas 6 for 10 to 20 minutes. Check that they appear slightly brown. Leave to cool on the tray.

Add water sparingly to the icing sugar until it's spreadable. Add food colour and spread onto the surface of the pastry. I have used a mixture of Liquorish Allsorts and Hundreds and Thousands, as well as other cake decorations to create my figolli characters. Our glamorous and camp G-Man came with full bling necklace and pink lips. I'll need to pass by Valletta G-House this morning to present him to our guests. We'll keep you posted as to whether they survive the experience.



  1. Francesca Maupin11:47 am

    Thank you for the recipe. Hadn't thought of making one with my children in time but have printed your recipe for next year.

  2. Such neat and tidy cooks! We made such a mess, drank too much gin and ended up needing to have a siesta mid way! Hope you all had a wonderful Easter xox

  3. We all started together, a bunch of happy people getting into each other's feet. By the time we came to the baking, I ended up being the only one in the kitchen with Mr Man looking on (project management - he calls it). I have still not recovered from the exertion. Imagine if I had to deal with childbirth!