Hi Explorers 🙂 Today is a sweet exploration into the secret of the Maltese Easter cuisine tradition! In fact I’m in Qrendi, a beautiful tiny village in the South West of Malta, welcomed by Vivienne and Doris, two lovely ladies who will show you
HOW TO MAKE FIGOLLA
ALL THE SECRETS OF THE FIGOLLA NOW REVEALED!
Easter is my favourite Feast, I like the Spring atmosphere, the Joy of the Sunday Easter, the flowers blooming and the Easter food!
Every Region in Italy has is own traditions when it comes to celebrate around the table.
How about the Easter tradition in Malta?
What is typical on the island for Easter is the famous cake called “Figolla” and I wanted to know more about it and how to make it.
So David Schembri, the Mayor of Qrendi, invited me to come in his village and appreciate the tradion directly with the local people.
Therefore, he introduced me to Vivienne who opened the door of her home with a big smile… so sweet!!
One of Vivienne’s best friends and neighbour, Doris, was there to help us in the preparation of this colourful cake. Actually, I’ve discovered that Doris has a deep passion for making pastries and sweets, that’s probably why her home is always full of kids and friends. Vivienne, is also much involved with the Parish church activities and both the ladies do a lot of voluntary work.
Their joviality and kindness let me appreciate the open heart of the Southern Maltese, who are always ready to make you feel part of their family!
Vivienne is not only famous for her Figolla but also her lovely cup of tea, which David was very much looking forward to! Here in Qrendi everyone knows each other and they are all ready to help each other!
Doris prepared some biscuits for us made with the same filling and pastry of the figolla, so this is another idea that you can make at home using the same ingredients, of course you can add somenthing else, making your own version… I guarantee that this one was super 😉
I know that you are curious now about the recipe. So here you are:
HOW TO MAKE FIGOLLA IN ONLY 6 STEPS 😉
INGREDIENTS FOR DOUGH (600G)
A pinch of salt
4 teaspoon baking powder
Lemon zest grated
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 small eggs
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING:
300g almond ground
Lemon zest grated
1 STEP: MAKE THE PASTRY
Put the flour in a bowl and mix the flour with the margarine. In another bowl mix the eggs, sugar and lemon zest together. Put the flour mix on the table and make a hole, pour the eggs liquid into the flour hole.
With your hands mix until you get a smooth dough, if need add some water.
Best tip: prepare it in advance and leave it in the fridge so it set.
2 STEP: PREPARE THE FILLING
Mix together eggs and sugar and then add the lemon zest and the grounded almonds. The result has to be a smooth and fragrant paste.
3 STEP: ROLL THE DOUGH
Spread a bit of flour on the table and roll the dough with a rolling pin. If the layer breaks, don’t worry add a bit more pastry and with your hands and a bit of flour you can ammend it easily. Make a layer of approximately 1cm.
4 STEP: CHOOSE THE SHAPE FOR THE FIGOLLA AND CUT THE DOUGH TWICE, THEN PUT THE FILLING AND SEAL THE TWO LAYERS 🙂
WHY IT IS CALLED FIGOLLA?
Figolla probably comes from the word figure, in fact the figolla is a special cake that represent the traditional shape of the fish or the lamb that are Easter Catholic symbols. In modern times Maltese ladies also create heart shape figolla, or rabbit, but can be also cat shape or a little car figolla to please their children.
Best tip: brush the edge of the layer with a bit of water so that it is easier to seal the two of them 😉
5 STEP: COOK YOUR FIGOLLA AT 180G° FOR 30 MINUTES
6 STEP: DECORATE YOUR FIGOLLA
This is the most funny step! Use your creativity for the decoration of your figolla. Vivienne and Doris showed me how to decorate it with melted chocolate. We used milk chocolate to cover the figolla and on the top white chocolate drops, smarties and other confetti. You can also use icing sugar instead of the chocolate covering 😉
Best tip: with a bit of melted chocolate fix a nice chocolate egg on the top of your figolla, that will make your children super happy and you will make a Easter figolla as the tradition wants 😉
This is a cake that has to be tasted only on Easter Sunday. So I asked Vivienne if we need to store it in the fridge. She answered that she never got the chance to store it and Flora the Explorer didn’t either…. Delicious 😉
Massive thanks to Vivianne, Doris, David and to all of you!
WATCH THE VIDEO and let me know how it was your figolla!