Easter in Gozo: How to make your own figolla
It’s time to bake Gozo’s favourite Easter treat! Easter in Gozo is a magical time of year and the celebrations are among some of the best in the cultural calendar.
It’s a time of festivals, processions and, of course, great food.
People in Gozo love their food and Easter time is no exception. As well as Easter eggs and chocolate, traditional Maltese figolli are a popular sweet. All of these can be found at Greens Supermarket, but you can also create your own!
Figolli are biscuits filled with almond paste, covered in delicious icing and shaped to resemble eggs, rabbits, butterflies, lambs, hearts and even cars. Throughout Easter time, you can find figolli in shops, cafes and confectioneries across the Maltese Islands but there’s nothing better than a homemade figolla. Choosing the shape and decoration of it yourself makes it that much more creative and special. Why not try your hand at making them this year?
How to make traditional Maltese figolli
Truly being organised with your ingredients and equipment before you get started in the kitchen is the key to recipe success. You can get lots of special cutters and baking utensils from the TKS, The Kitchen Store at Level -1, The Duke. TKS have everything you need for a successful figolli baking session.
Ingredients can be bought from Greens Supermarket also at Level -1, The Duke. Local top TV cook and renowned food writer Karmen Tedesco says: ‘Easter figolli aren’t difficult to bake. You have to be gentle with the pastry but you can work it all by hand. I make them with my grandchildren, preparing the pastry the night before. I then give them some to roll out and shape themselves. We make all sorts of fantastic shapes!’
Here’s the best recipe for Maltese figolli
For the pastry
400g self-raising flour
1tbsp of water
For the filling
200g ground almonds
For the icing
150g icing sugar
1-2tbsp warm water
1tbsp bitter cocoa powder
1tbsp of rum or brandy
- For the pastry, mix the flour and margarine. Whisk together the sugar, eggs and orange rind. Add this to the flour mix to form a soft dough. Add a bit of water. Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
- For the filling, add the sugar and water in a saucepan, and heat it until it dissolves. Bring to the boil and remove from the hob. Add some ground almonds and stir well.
- Preheat the oven to 200° or gas mark 5-6.
- Place the dough on baking parchment and cut out two shapes of the same size. Prepare a floured oven tray. Place the first shape on the tray and spread the almond paste on it, sandwiching it with the second shape.
- Put the tray with the figolla in the oven for 25 minutes. Once cooked, take it out and let it cool.
- Mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add a tablespoon of warm water to the margarine and add it to the sugar-cocoa mix. Add the rum or brandy.
- Decorate your figolla with colourful icing and some chocolate shavings
What are you waiting for? Start your shopping and get baking!
For the festive season, The Duke has prepared special activities and competitions to thank its shoppers and loyal customers. More information on the initiatives taking place throughout the month of December can be found in the 4th issue of The Duke Magazine, ‘Seasons at The Duke’.
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