Recipe: Renato Briffa’s traditional figolli

Figolla Credit: flickr / cindystarblog

This old-fashioned recipe for figolli is full of nostalgia and tradition. It is a recipe sought by many: the figolli recipe from Renato Briffa's old family collection passed on to him by his father. The family owned one of Malta's leading confectioneries in the 50s in Old Mint Street in Valletta. 


  • 2 kg flour
  • 25 g baking powder
  • 450 g butter
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 4 drops vanilla extract
  • 800 g sugar
  • ½ can evaporated milk
  • 1 litre water
  • 1 kg ground almonds
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 2 grated lemon zest
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 8 eggs


  1. Rub in butter into flour and add the baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla extract. 
  2. In a separate bowl mix the sugar, the evaporated milk and water together with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves. 
  3. Add the liquid to the flour mix and form a dough. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Prepare the filling by mixing together the ground almonds, sugar, grated lemon zest, vanilla extract and 8 eggs. It should have the consistency of dough.
  5. Open the dough on a floured surface. Cut the shapes of your choice, either using a stencil or a cutter.
  6. Spoon the almond filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and seal the cover by pressing together. 
  7. Bake on an oven tray, covered with baking paper and put in  the oven at 160 C for 35 minutes.  
  8. Allow to cool and decorate as desired. 

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