When my family lived in Canberra, our lovely friends would bring us some Figolli (traditional Maltese Easter biscuits) every Easter Sunday. As they were such a favourite with all of us, when we moved to Adelaide we decided that we couldn’t be without Figolli at Easter, and so we started making them ourselves.
This has just been our third Easter in Adelaide and I’m pretty confident that we’ve perfected them by now – consistently getting a rich buttery biscuit outside and perfectly chewy almond-citrus filling. We tend to to make ours round (although by all means use any shape you like) and decorate them simply with pastel icing and topped with an Easter egg. Do yourself a favour and try them!
Ingredients (makes 36)
400g plain flour, sifted
175g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
Grated rind of ½ a lemon
300g icing sugar, icing
300g ground almonds
2 egg whites
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2½ teaspoons orange blossom water
In a food processor, blitz flour, sugar & butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add egg yolks, lemon zest & sufficient cold water to bring the dough together. Knead gently to form a smooth ball and then cover in cling film and refrigerate for 20mins.
Meanwhile, add the lemon zest, orange blossom water, egg whites & sugar to the ground almonds. Mix until combined.
Preheat oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced.
Roll pastry out to a 2-3mm thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use a 7cm diameter round cutter to cut out 2 circles of pastry.
Spread almond paste on one half and lay matching shapes on top, pressing the edges together.
Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake for approximately 20 mins or until golden brown.
Allow to cool before decorating with glacé icing & mini easter eggs or speckled eggs.
Adapted from ‘The Food and Cookery of Malta’ (1999)