Every family has its own way of making figolli. Some may even add an ingredient which is kept secret to preserve the family’s traditions.
I am sharing Renato Briffa’s recipe for Maltese figolli.
And for the figolli pastry you will need:
2 kilos flour
25 g baking powder
1 lemon zest
4 drops vanilla extract
Rub in butter into flour add the rest of the ingredients.
Separately mix together 800g sugar
1/2 can evaporated milk
1 litre water
Mix with wooden spoon until sugar dissolves
Add the liquid to the flour mix and form a dough. Leave to rest in fridge for at least an hour.
Prepare the almond filling
1 kg ground almonds
800g sugar or equivalent in stevia
2 grated lemon zest
3 drops vanilla extract
You will also need marzipan, icing and chocolate to decorate the figolli
To make the pastry, sift together the flour, baking powder and icing sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingers till mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the citrus zest, the fresh orange juice and egg yolks and mix together till you have a smooth pastry. Wrap up in cling film and leave in the fridge for an hour.
Prepare the almond filling by placing all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix and bind together. Make sure the mixture is not sticky.
Prepare the figolli by rolling out the pastry on a floured work surface, to a thickness of about 1/2 cm.
Using figolli cutters, cut the figolli pastry shapes (2 per figolla) and place on baking trays covered with baking paper.
Roll out the almond filling and cut out one shape per figolla. Brush ½ of the pastry shapes lightly with water, and cover each piece with the almond filling. Brush the almond filling with water and cover with the remaining pastry shapes. Each figolla will end up with a pastry top and bottom, with the layer of almond in the middle. Bake the figolli in the oven at 160`c, for 40 minutes.
Allow to cool completely overnight and then decorate, using chocolate, marzipan, confetti, icing and mini easter eggs.