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About this recipe: Shortcrust pastry filled with marzipan and decorated with icing. This was traditionally eaten at Easter in Malta but now these are commercially available throughout Lent.

NCE Malta Island, Malta

Serves: 10 

  • For the sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 480g plain flour
  • 300g butter or margarine
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g caster sugar
  • For the filling
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 drop almond extract

Prep:45min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Extra time:10min cooling  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

  1. To make the pastry: Rub flour and butter together to resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. In a different bowl mix grated lemon zest, eggs and 120g sugar. Add to the flour mixture and make into a shortcrust pastry dough. Divide in two for cutting out two shapes.
  3. To make the almond paste filling: In a large mixing bowl put the ground almonds, the 220g sugar, egg whites, grated rind of 1 lemon and extracts. Mix well until you have a fairly dry paste.
  4. Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
  5. Put pastry on a lightly floured board. Cut a piece the size of 1 figolla and roll it out. You should not roll out the pastry too thinly; otherwise it will easily break. Choose the shape of the figolla (such as butterfly or an egg) and cut 2 pieces of the same shape. Place shapes on a greased or lined baking tray. If your oven is large enough, you can bake more than 1 figolla at a time.
  6. Brush the sides with water or with beaten egg. Spread with the almond paste. Leave a free space all round for sealing. Very carefully put the other piece of pastry on top. Seal all round by pressing with your fingers.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Leave the figolla to cool in the baking tray. When cool remove from tray and put on a wire rack till completely cold.
  8. Decorate with royal icing, little silver balls and a small chocolate egg pressed in the centre.

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Reviews (1)


Nice recipie. I stopped doing figolli for 2 years due to other committments. I did about 15 this year + kwarezimal and obtained good results. I really liked the idea of how this butterfly is decorated. - 25 Apr 2011

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