Għadam

The Maltese calendar year is packed with feasts both secular and religious and generally specific traditional foods are linked with them. One of these is All Souls’ Day, the Christian day of the dead which is celebrated on the 2nd of November.

Confectioners’ shops are filled with sweets shaped like bones. They are made using the same recipe as for the Figolli, but the dough is shaped so as to resemble a bone. It is then covered with white icing and this makes it more similar to a bone. These sweets can be found throughout the whole month of November.

Ingredients

For the pastry

480g plain flour
100g sugar
300g margarine
grated rind of 1 lemon
3 egg yolks (use the whites for the filling)

For the filling

300g pure ground almonds
300g sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
egg whites
almond essence
vanilla essence

Method

1. Prepare the pastry as for AS FOR SWEET PASTRY

2. Whilst the pastry is resting prepare the filling.

3. In a large mixing bowl put the ground almonds, sugar, eggs, grated rind of 1 lemon, essences and egg whites. Do not add too much almond essence, because it will give the filling a bitter taste. Mix well together till you have a fairly dry paste.

4. Preheat the oven 1900C, Gas Mark 5.
5. Put the pastry on a lightly floured table top and roll it out. Cut into oblongs.

6. Put some almond paste in the centre of each oblong. Wrap the pastry around the filling and mould them into the traditional bone shape. Tuck it neatly around, trimming off extra bits.

7. Put these ‘bones’ on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper.

8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.

9. Remove from tray and leave to cool.

10. When completely cold cover with white royal icing.