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Easter is fast approaching, and one recipe seems to be very popular and highly requested among many.

Chef Manuel, we have never tried your recipe, but if everybody likes it so much, we are more than willing to share it with everyone!

We had the recipe in English which we are sharing, but we also translated it in Maltese for everyone to be able to follow! The recipe measurements are for 4 large or 7 small figolli. Enjoy!

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chef manuel figolli
Image: The Malta Independent

INGREDIENTS (INGREDJENTI):

For the pastry (Għall-għaġina)

  • 1kg plain flower (1 kilo dqiq plain)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (2 mgħaref baking powder)
  • 300g icing sugar (300 gramma icing sugar)
  • 450g unsalted butter (450 gramma butir bla melħ)
  • Zest of 2 lemons and 2 oranges (qoxra maħkuka ta’ 2 lumijiet u 2 larinġiet)
  • Juice of 2 oranges (il-meraq ta’ 2 larinġiet)
  • 6 egg yolks (6 isfra tal-bajd)

For the almond filling (Għall-mili)

  • 800g pure ground almonds (800 gramma lewż pur midħun)
  • 640g icing sugar (640 gramma icing sugar)
  • Zest of 3 lemons (qoxra maħkuka ta’ 3 lumijiet)
  • 5/6 egg whites (5/6 abjad tal-bajd)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (kuċċarina essenza tal-vanilla)
  • Marzipan/icing/chocolate to decorate (marżipan/icing/ċikkulata biex iżżejjen)

METHOD (METODU):

  • Start this recipe by preparing the pastry and the almond filling. Ibda din ir-riċetta billi tipprepara l-għaġina u l-mili tal-lewż.
  • To make the pastry, sift together the flour, baking powder and icing sugar in a large bowl. Biex tagħmel l-għaġina, għarbel id-dqiq, il-baking powder u l-icing sugar għal ġo skutella. 
  • Add the butter or margarine and rub with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Żid il-utir jew marġerina, u aħdimha b’subgħajk sakemm it-taħlita tiġi tixbaħ lil frak tal-ħobż.
  • Add the lemon and orange zest, the fresh orange juice and egg yolks, and mix together till you have a smooth soft pastry. Żid il-qoxra maħkuka tal-lumi u l-larinġ, il-meraq tal-larinġa u l-isfra tal-bajd. Ħawwad kollox flimkien sakemm ikollok għaġina ratba.
  • Wrap up the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Poġġi l-għaġina fil-cling film u poġġiha fil-friġġ għal 30 minuta. 
  • Meanwhile, you can also prepare the almond filling by placing all the ingredients together in a large bowl and binding them together with your hands to form a soft marzipan. Make sure the mixture is not sticky. Sa dan it-tant, tista’ tipprepara l-mili tal-lewż billi titfa’ l-ingredjenti kollha ġo skutella u tħawwadhom flimkien b’idejk sakemm ikollok marżipan artab. Ara li t-taħlita ma tiġix twaħħal.
  • Once the pastry has chilled, and you have prepared the almond filling you can start preparing the figolli. Issa li l-għaġina għamlet ħin fil-friġġ, u preparajt il-mili, tista’ tibda tipprepara l-figolli.
  • Roll out the pastry on a floured work surface, to a thickness of about 3/4cm. Iftaħ l-għaġina bi ħxuna ta’ madwar 3/4cm fuq pjan ta’ ħidma miksi bi ftit dqiq. 
  • Using shaped figolli cutters, cut figolli shapes out of the pastry (you will need 2 shapes for each figolla). Uża l-forom tal-figolli biex taqta’ l-forom mill-għaġina (ftakar li gġandek bżonn 2 għal kull figolla).
  • Carefully place the figolli pastry shapes on baking trays covered with greaseproof paper. Poġġi l-għaġina bil-forma tal-figolla fuq turtiera miksija bil-karta forno.
  • Next you need to roll out the almond filling, the same as the pastry, cutting out one shape per figolla. Issa iftaħ il-mili tal-lewż, l-istess kif ftaħt l-għaġina, u aqta’ forma waħda għal kull figolla. 
  • Brush half of the pastry shapes lightly with water and cover each piece with the almond filling. Iżbogħ nofs il-forom tal-għaġina bl-ilma u iksi bil-forma tal-mili tal-lewż. 
  • Brush the almond filling lightly with water and cover with the remaining pastry shapes. Iżbogħ il-mili tal-lewż bl-ilma u iksi bil-forma l-oħra tal-għaġina. 
  • Each figolla will end up with a atop and bottom, with the layer of almond in the middle. Kull figolla għandu jkollha wiċċ u qiegħ, kif ukoll saff ta’ lewż fin-nofs.
  • Bake the figolli in the oven at 180 degrees for 35-40 minutes, depending on their size. Aħmi l-figolli fil-forn f-temparetura ta’ 180 grad għal 35-40 minuta, skont il-qies tal-figolli.
  • When the figolli are cooked, remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the figolli to cool down completely before removing them off the baking trays. Meta l-figolli jkunu moħmija lesti, oħroġhom minn ġol-forn biex jiksħu qabel tneħħihom minn fuq it-turtiera. 
  • For the best results, decorate the figolli the following day using whatever means you wish such as chocolate, icing, etc. Għall-aħjar riżultati, żejjen il-figolli l-għada b’dak kollu li tixtieq qalbek bħal ċikkulata, icing, eċċ.
  • When the figolli are decorated and set, wrap them up in cling film to keep them fresh. Meta l-figolli jkunu mżejjna lesti, iksihom bil-cling film biex jiqgħu friski.
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